HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM) – President Donald Trump said Monday night, Democrats overplayed their hand when it comes to the Central American migrant caravan that is moving through Mexico towards the United States’ southern border. “We just can’t let them come in,” the President told CBS 11 Political Reporter Jack Fink. “It’s just something we can’t do.”
Standing before thousands of loyal supporters at his rally for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz in Houston, the President sharply criticized the large group of migrants heading from Central America to the U.S. “That’s an assault on our country. That’s an assault,” he said.
The people, who are now reportedly estimated to number more than 7,000 according to the United Nations, are making their way through Mexico after starting in Honduras then continuing into Guatemala.
Some of them, including women and children, have said they’re fleeing because of widespread violence and poverty. On Tuesday, President Trump tweeted that he notified Border Patrol and the military that he considers the situation a national emergency.
Earlier Monday, the President said he alerted the military –and the border patrol – about the situation. He told CBS 11 before his Houston rally that he also spoke to Texas officials including Texas Governor Greg Abbott about developments.
Governor Abbott confirmed to CBS 11 Tuesday that the two leaders did meet and discuss the issue.
“We talked about the caravan coming towards the border and the necessity of making sure we secure the border,” Abbott said.
When asked what factors will play into his decision on whether to call the military to the border – and happen it be in Texas – the President said, “Well it’s going to be here.”
“It looks like it’s going to be a couple of weeks before they get here. It’s a big group of people,” said Trump. “Once you lose control of your borders you no longer have a country.”
“We’re going to maintain total control of our country; our borders,” the President continued.
On Monday, the Pentagon said it hadn’t received any new orders to send troops to the border.
Trump also discussed U.S. aid to Central American countries like Honduras and El Salvador and his expectation that these countries should help the U.S. “We pay hundreds of millions of dollars to all of these countries and they don’t come through for us,” said the President. “I hope Mexico’s going to come through. We’re going to find out soon enough, but I hope they do.”
President Trump tweeted Monday morning that the United States would begin slashing foreign aid to countries “not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country” and joining a caravan of thousands headed towards the U.S.
The President continues to make this a political issue during the midterm elections. He blames Democrats in the Senate for not helping Republicans pass immigration bills. He stressed that he believes Democrats are pushing the issue for self-serving reasons. “The Democrats just won’t allow legislation to be passed,” said the President. “Even though they know it’s bad for the country, but they think it’s good for them as a party. It’s not, it’s really not,” Trump continued.
“I think they really overplayed their hand just like they did with Justice Kavanaugh… they overplayed their hand and that was a big loss for them,” the President said referring to the contentious confirmation hearings of now Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Referring back to the migrant caravan moving through Mexico the President said, “A lot of people say, ‘did they start that, did they infuse money into that?’ I have no idea but I’ll say, ‘they overplay their hand every time and it hurts them.'”