President Donald Trump on Friday pulled back on his previous threat to have soldiers shoot migrants who throw stones at the Mexican-US border.
“I didn’t say shoot,” he said. “They won’t have to fire. What I don’t want, I don’t want these people throwing rocks.”
Instead, Trump told journalists at the White House, stone-throwing migrants or people asking for refugee status on the southern border are “going to be arrested for a long time.”
During a Thursday speech on his bid to crack down on illegal immigration, Trump was asked how thousands of troops he has ordered to the border would react if stones were thrown at them.
He responded that stone throwing would be seen as a lethal threat.
“We’re not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back,” he said.
“I told them (troops) consider it (a rock) a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexican military and police, I say consider it a rifle.”
Trump has ramped up the rhetoric daily ahead of next Tuesday’s midterm congressional elections, accusing the opposition Democrats of wanting to throw open the borders to floods of “tough people,” “rapists” and other types of threats.