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Trump: Troops Can Shoot Rock-Throwing Migrants

'We will consider that a firearm'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2018 3:57 AM CDT
Updated Nov 2, 2018 6:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – In response to a caravan of migrants making its way north through Mexico, President Trump has ordered the biggest deployment of troops along America's southern border since the days of Pancho Villa—and he says any migrants throwing rocks will be treated like gunmen. "I will tell you, anybody throwing stones, rocks, like they did to Mexico and the Mexican military ... we will consider that a firearm," the president said Thursday. He was referring to a clash between asylum seekers and Mexican police at the Guatemalan border Sunday, Politico reports. "They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back," Trump said. "We'll consider—and I told them—consider it a rifle."

Trump said that he plans to bring in an executive action next week that will deal with what he called the "abuse" of the asylum system, the Washington Post reports. He didn't provide details of the order, but said the military is helping to erect "massive tent cities" at the border. "We have a lot of tents, we have a lot of everything," he said. "We're going to hold them right there, we’re not letting them into our country." Asked about Trump's "consider it a rifle" remark, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Jamie Davies said he wouldn't discuss hypothetical situations, but added that troops involved in "Operation Faithful Patriot" are "trained professionals who always have the inherent right of self-defense." (Trump says he plans to use an executive order to end birthright citizenship.)

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