President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday morning that the United States would permanently close the southern border if approaching migrants are not apprehended and sent back to their countries.
"Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be," Trump wrote in a tweet. "Congress, fund the WALL!"
Trump was responding to reports that around 500 migrants stormed the Mexican blockades and rushed toward the U.S. border between Mexico's Tijuana and San Diego to the north. Some migrants threw rocks and other projectiles at border patrol agents, and in response, the agents used tear gas on the crowd.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen released a statement confirming some migrants who tried to cross the border had thrown projectiles at border patrol agents.
"As I have continually stated, D.H.S. will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons," Nielsen said.
Trump announced on Saturday that his administration was working on a deal with Mexico to keep asylum seekers at America's southern border in Mexico. The incoming Mexican government gave inconsistent statements that a deal was in the works.
"For now, we have agreed to this policy of Remain in Mexico," Mexico’s incoming interior minister, Olga Sanchez Cordero, said. But later on, Sanchez Cordero gave a conflicting statement saying there was no deal.
"There is no agreement of any sort between the incoming Mexican government and the U.S. government," Sanchez said.
Trump's demand that Congress fund his border wall faces an uphill battle. Congress reconvenes in a lame duck session this week and has two weeks to pass a funding bill or risk a partial government shutdown. In the past, Trump has threatened to shut down the government unless Congress passes funding for additional border security, including funds for his border wall.