President Donald Trump characterized a group of migrants headed toward the United States as an invading force, adding that the U.S military would meet them at the border.
“Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border,” the president tweeted Monday. “Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”
Trump’s tweet refers to a large “caravan” of migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Honduras that set off more than two weeks ago and grew in number as they made their way north.
The group has been the source of apparent anxiety for the president, who has continuously used the migrants as a rallying cry for increased border protection even as national attention last week focused on pipe bombs sent to high-profile Democrats and a deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he would deploy additional military personnel to the border to stop the approaching migrants from entering the country. Though the Mexican government has offered the migrants benefits to stay in Mexico, many have continued in their march to the U.S.
Trump has previously threatened to withdraw aid to Honduras as well as Guatemala and El Salvador if their governments do not stop their citizens from advancing toward the United States.