President Donald Trump is considering taking executive action to bar migrants, including asylum-seekers, from entering the country at the southern border, according to people familiar with the plan.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is considering taking executive action to bar migrants, including asylum-seekers, from entering the country at the southern border, according to people familiar with the plan. The effort would be the starkest indication yet of Trump’s election-season push to play to his anti-immigrant base as his party fights to keep control of Congress.
The proposal amounts to a sweeping use of presidential power to fortify the border and impose the kind of aggressive immigration restrictions and enforcement measures that Trump has made his signature pursuit.
The plan is expected to prompt a swift challenge in federal courts.
The move would be the most drastic in a series of steps that Trump has taken or threatened to take in recent days — including preparations Thursday to send as many as 1,000 active-duty Army troops to help secure the southern border — as he works to stop what he has called an “onslaught” of immigrants only days before the midterm elections.
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As part of that effort, the president has capitalized this month on the thousands of Central American migrants — many women and children believed to be seeking refuge from violence and economic hardship — trekking north through Mexico.
The caravan is still more than 1,000 miles south of the border, and it is unclear when or whether the migrants will arrive, or how many will seek to cross into the United States.
The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the plan for executive action on the border and referred questions about the troop deployment to the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
Details of the plan were still being completed Thursday, according to the people who described it, all of whom insisted on anonymity to discuss a proposal that was still under development. The president, who is prone to changing his mind, could still decide not to take action, they stressed.
But three people briefed on the plan said it envisioned Trump’s issuing a proclamation Tuesday.