The US will deploy the military to secure its international border with Mexico, President Donald Trump has said, asserting that America's existing laws were "horrible" and enabled caravans of illegal immigrants' entry into the country.
Trump has been a great proponent of building a wall along the US-Mexico border. He is seeking billions of dollars from the Congress for this initiative but has been unable to get the funding so far.
Trump believes that the wall along the Mexico border is a permanent solution to stop the large influx of illegal immigrants smuggling of drugs into the US.
"We are preparing for the military to secure our border between Mexico and the United States," Trump told reporters at a joint White House news conference with Baltic leaders.
Soon thereafter, he held a meeting with his top officials including Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary Kirsten Nielsen, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
During the meeting, they discussed the administration's strategy, "which includes the mobilisation of the National Guard," the White House said.
Trump and senior officials also agreed on the need to pressure Congress to urgently pass legislation to close legal loopholes exploited by criminal trafficking, narco-terrorist and smuggling organisation, it said.
A week earlier, Trump received a briefing from senior administration officials on the growing influx of illegal immigration, drugs and violent gang members from Central America.
At that time, he had "directed a vigorous administrative strategy to confront this threat and protect America's national security," the White House said.
Earlier, Trump told reporters that the Mexican border was very unprotected by the US laws.
"We have horrible, horrible and very unsafe laws in the United States, and we're going to be able to do something about that hopefully soon. Hopefully, Congress will get their act together and get in and create some very powerful laws, like Mexico has, and like Canada has, and like almost all countries have," he said.
"We don't have laws. We have catch and release. You catch and then you immediately release, and people come back years later for a court case, except they virtually never come back," he said, justifying his move to use the military to protect the international border.
"It's something we have to do. Now, the caravan, which is over a thousand people coming in from Honduras, thought they were just going to walk right through Mexico and right through the border," he said.
Trump said that he had told the Mexicans that their caravan of illegal immigrants crossing into the US needed to stop.
"If you look at the caravan of thousands of people coming across, I told Mexico, look, you have a cash cow in NAFTA. NAFTA's been great for Mexico. Has not been good for the United States," he said. —AFP