Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
Press Briefing Room
October 23, 2018
“… The migrant caravan is violating Mexico’s sovereignty, laws, and immigration procedures. President Trump will not stand for this to happen to the United States. To those who say this is a hardhearted stance, let’s not forget that the United States is a historically generous nation when it comes to immigration.
Over one million people per year are granted permanent legal status here in the United States. Over 33 million people total are currently here who have immigrated to this country legally. To those who want to come here: Come here legally. Legal immigration is the surest way to obtain the better life you are looking for here in the United States of America.
From a security standpoint, there is no proper accounting of who these individuals in the caravan are, and this poses an unacceptable security risk to the United States. Moreover, many of these people are ripe targets for human traffickers and others who would exploit them. We don’t want that to happen.
I’ve spoken twice in the last two days to my counterpart, Foreign Secretary Videgaray. We trust that Mexico’s leaders know what the best steps are to resolve this situation, and we urge timely action on their part. The United States also has a message for those who are currently part of this caravan or any caravan which follows: You will not be successful at getting into the United States illegally, no matter what. I repeat: The caravan will not cross our southern border illegally under any circumstances.
If you seek to come here, go through the normal refugee process. If you apply for refugee status, a permanent solution is possible in Mexico or in a third country. But I can tell you with certainty we are determined that illegal entry into the United States from this caravan will not be possible…”