(CNSNews.com) – Amid indications that the migrant “caravan” heading through Mexico towards the U.S. may be shrinking, President Trump on Wednesday night expressed confidence that those making the “long hike” would not succeed in their goal.
“As we speak the Democrat Party is openly encouraging caravan after caravan of illegal aliens to violate our laws and break into our country,” he told a campaign rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin.
“Don’t worry about it folks. You have nothing to worry about,” Trump said, adding later that “the military is ready.”
“They’re all ready, and there’s nobody like them.”
Trump said that allowing the Central American migrants moving in a column through southern Mexico to enter the U.S. would be unfair not just to Americans but to all those who have gone through the correct channels.
“When our country is assaulted by thousands and thousands of people marching, and they openly say ‘we’re going to go into the country,’ we can’t do that. We can’t allow that,” he said.
“It’s unfair to you, but it’s also unfair to thousands and thousands of people that have gone through a legal process. Some are waiting in line ten years, everything is perfect, and they don’t get in, but other people just march right in.”
“It will not happen,” he said. “You watch – it won’t happen.”
Trump said that migrants who cross the U.S. borders illegally will be quickly deported.
“And we tell them that because they’ve got a long hike,” he said. “They cannot come in the way they want to come in. It doesn’t work that way.”
“[If] we don’t have borders, we don’t have a country,” he said. “And we have the greatest country on earth.”
Meanwhile there are signs that the caravan may be getting smaller rather than larger, as Mexican authorities at the urging of the U.S. continue to secure applications for asylum from some of the mostly Honduran migrants, while others volunteer to return home.
On Monday, a U.N. spokesman in New York put the size of the caravan at “some 7,233 persons,” citing officials from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and U.N. refugee agency UNHCR who are working with local authorities in southern Mexico.
(Other reports have spoken about as many 14,000 migrants, but they cite a Mexican news report which appears to be including in its count estimates of migrants still in Guatemala.)
On Wednesday, however, the Mexican foreign and interior ministries put the number of migrants in the caravan now moving from the town of Huixtla towards Mepastepec, about 40 miles to the north-west, at “about 3,630 people.”
The two ministries said 1,743 others had applied for asylum in Mexico and another 116 had requested voluntary repatriation. Meanwhile officials from the Interior Ministry and National Migration Institute continue inviting those in the caravan to “regularize their immigration status.”
A day earlier, the ministries reported having registered 1,699 applications for asylum in Mexico while another 495 Hondurans had agreed voluntarily to return home.
When the caravan reaches Mepastepec, it will still be some 1,045 miles from the nearest U.S. border crossing, at McAllen, Texas.