President Donald Trump said individuals from the U.S. military sent toward the southern
outskirt to keep out thousands of immigrants convoy would "battle back" if migrants toss stones and recommended officers may start shooting at the gathering on the grounds that there's "very little distinction" between a stone or firearm.
In an address from the White House Thursday, just days before the midterm elections, Trump announced his administration was preparing to change the country's asylum practices and took on the thousands of migrants fleeing the dangers in Central America and heading toward the U.S. in hopes of claiming asylum.
He pointed to reports of a clash between authorities and the caravan as they moved across the Guatemalan border to Mexico.
Mexico authorities said migrants attacked its agents with rocks, glass bottles and fireworks when they broke through a gate on the Mexican end but were pushed back, according to the Associated Press. It's unclear whether any Mexican authorities were injured but Guatemalan officers were hurt.
Trump said the U.S. military wouldn't accept bottles or stones being thrown at them.
"They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back," the president told reporters. "I told them to consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like what they did to the Mexican military and police I say consider it a rifle."
The president continued, saying he did not want a violent clash between the migrants, many of whom are women and children, but said the military was ready in case.
"I hope not," Trump said when asked about whether he envisions military shooting any of the migrants.
He continued, claiming members of the military were "badly hurt" by migrants armed with stones. He said any stone will be considered a "firearm because there's not much difference when you get hit in the face with a rock."