Trump complains US troops at border 'can't get a little rough, like they would normally'

Chris Baynes

Donald Trump has complained that US border troops cannot “get a little rough” with migrants because “everybody would go crazy”.

The president lamented that his military “can’t act like they would normally act” by being heavy-handed with refugee families.

He blamed “horrible laws that Democrats will not change” and said he was considering deploying more troops to the Mexico border to stop migrants attempting to cross into the US.

Speaking to reporters in Texas, Mr Trump said: “I’m going to have to call up more military.

"But our military, don’t forget, can’t act like a military would act because if they get a little rough, everybody would go crazy. So our military can’t act like they would normally act, or let’s say another military from another country would act.

“We have all these horrible laws that the Democrats will not change, they won’t change them. And I think they are going pay a very big price in 2020 for all of the things. I think the border is going to be an incredible issue.”

Mr Trump went on to depict migrants – many of whom have fled poverty, violence or persecution in Latin America – as criminals who would murder Americans and steal their homes.

He said: “Think of these people – supposing I said, let’s have an open border – they will flood your houses, they will shoot you, they’ll take over your house, they’ll take your car and they’ll probably stay there.”

Mr Trump plans to aggressively push for tougher screening that will make it far more difficult for migrants fleeing persecution in their home countries to secure asylum in the US, a senior administration official said this week.

The president is reportedly also considering resuming the controversial policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border.

He has purged senior immigration officials in the Department of Homeland Security as he seeks to take it in a "tougher direction".