President Donald Trump warned Mexico Thursday he will close the southern border by military force if the flow of unlawful migration does not stop. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 18 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump warned Mexico Thursday the United States will use military force to shut down the border if it doesn't stop what he called an "onslaught" of illegal migration.
In three tweets Thursday morning, Trump slammed Democrats for being "weak" on immigration and cautioned Mexico to stem the flow of migrants at its border with the United States.
"I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught," he wrote. "If [they are] unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!"
Trump has tried to restrict unlawful immigration since the start of his presidency, including the controversial border wall he is still trying to have built along the 2,000-mile stretch in the Southwest that separates the two countries.
"The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the [U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement]," the president added. "Hopefully Mexico will stop this onslaught at their Northern Border. All Democrats fault for weak laws!"
Trump also said in a tweet he will end aid payments to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador if they don't stop their citizens from emigrating to the United States.
The United States sent roughly $248 million in aid to Guatemala, $175 million to Honduras and $115 to El Salvador during fiscal 2017.
Wednesday, the Mexican government sent federal forces to its border with Guatemala to stop a large caravan of Honduran immigrants from reaching the United States.
"They are clearly responding to Trump's outbursts," political analyst Carlos Bravo told the Los Angeles Times. "I think that for a really long time, Mexico has outsourced its decisions about our southern border to the U.S."
Mexico angered Trump in April when it gave short-term visas to a similar caravan of immigrants traveling through Mexico toward the United States. At the time, Trump dispatched the National Guard to the border, saying the group threatened U.S. sovereignty.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to travel to Mexico Friday to meet with outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on the issue.
"I'm certain that there'll be conversations with Mexico about how we can work together on this issue," a U.S. official told the Times. "Certainly we're looking for concrete results and for solutions that work for both countries."