Washington: US President Donald Trump on Thursday asked the people in caravan, which is inching towards the southern border with Mexico, to go back to their countries and apply for American citizenship like million others.
A caravan of some 5,000 to 7,000 people, mostly from three Latin American countries – El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala – is heading towards America through Mexico to enter the country illegally.
Trump's direct message to the people in Caravan came hours after he said he is deploying military on the Southern border with Mexico to stop them from entering the United States illegally, as he described the situation as a "national emergency".
"To those in the Caravan, turnaround, we are not letting people into the United States illegally. Go back to your Country and if you want, apply for citizenship like millions of others are doing!" Trump said in a tweet. According to some media reports, quite a number of those in the caravan are people from South Asia including Bangladesh.
This is for the second time this year that such a caravan has been formed. Trump says people are taking the advantage of the "stupid" US policy of catch and release, under which illegal immigrants are arrested immediately upon entering the border illegally and then released with the advice that they appear before the court for the next hearing, which at times is months away.
Illegal immigrants were also the topic of discussion when Trump spoke over the phone with the Italian prime minister. Trump in a tweet said that among the issues included the fact that Italy is now taking a very hard line on illegal immigration.
"I agree with their stance 100%, and the United States is likewise taking a very hard line on illegal immigration. The Prime Minister is working very hard on the economy of Italy - he will be successful!" Trump said.
In his remarks and speeches over the past two weeks, Trump has repeatedly said he will not allow the migrant caravan to come inside the country illegally. He has claimed that there are criminals and people of Middle Eastern descent among the migrants.