The proposal, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, would block certain asylum-seekers at the Mexican border and represent a dramatic escalation of enforcement. This plan is just in the formative stages, though, and a government official familiar with the working version told the Chronicle it would probably face legal challenges.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, referring to US troops who are expected to be deployed to the southern border to deter an incoming migrant caravan, said Thursday that "we do not have any intention right now to shoot at people."
"We do not have any intention right now to shoot at people, but they will be apprehended, however," Nielsen said in an interview with Fox News. "But I also take my officers and agents, their own personal safety, extraordinarily seriously. They do have the ability, of course, to defend themselves."
Defense Secretary James Mattis is expected to sign deployment orders that could send 800 or more troops to the border with Mexico to help border patrol authorities stop the caravan, according to three administration officials.
Nielsen said the Department of Homeland Security has asked for the Department of Defense to help "bolster our capabilities" on the border in an effort to avoid a chaotic incident like when migrants were met at the Guatemalan-Mexican border by Mexican police in riot gear.
"We will absolutely not tolerate violence against border patrol in this situation," Nielsen said. "These are dedicated men and women risking their lives every day. I will not tolerate Mexicans or anybody else acting in a violent way towards our men and women on the border."