WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Thursday that U.S. troops he dispatched to the nation’s border will use lethal force to stop migrants attempting to enter the country “if they have to.”
Earlier this week, Trump authorized the military to use its rules of engagement, rather than those of domestic law-enforcement agencies, at the border.
“If they have to, they’re gonna use lethal force,” he said. “I’ve — I’ve given the okay. If they have to. I hope they don’t have to.”
He added that he will “close entry” at the border if he deems it necessary to prevent immigration. Just before the midterm elections earlier this month, Trump sent thousands of troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in response to the advance of caravans of migrants through Latin America.