Trump made the announcement as part of his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, in which he made repeated calls for more security at the southern border and claimed that an “organized caravan” was marching to the U.S. “as we speak.”
“We have just heard that Mexican cities, in order to remove the illegal immigrants from their communities, are getting trucks and buses to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection,” Trump said. “I have ordered another 3,750 troops to our southern border to prepare for the tremendous onslaught.”
Trump also claimed that he wanted immigrants “to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally,” contradicting the Trump administration’s policies and proposed plans that discourage legal immigration.
In January, Senate Republicans released a draft bill that would severely restrict the refugee asylum program. Last year, the administration followed through with a proposal that makes it harder for migrants to get green cards if they are poor or could become poor.
Less than three weeks earlier, Trump reopened the federal government after he failed to reach an agreement with Democrats to fund his multibillion-dollar barrier at the southern border. At 35 days, it was the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history, and it forced about 800,000 federal workers to go without compensation.