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Trump: Mexico 'Not Doing Nearly Enough' to Block Migrants

FILE - Migrants queue to request asylum after crossing illegally into El Paso, in this picture taken from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, April 21, 2019.

U.S. President Donald Trump has renewed his attacks on Mexico, claiming it is not doing enough to block a new surge of migrants heading to the United States to seek asylum and that its troops recently "pulled guns" on American soldiers at the border.

The U.S. leader said that "Mexico's Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers," claiming, without offering any evidence, that it "probably" was "a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border."

The confrontation between Mexican and U.S. troops occurred April 13 on American territory. News accounts at the time said Mexican soldiers detained and searched Americans at gunpoint, apparently thinking they were still in Mexico after mistakenly crossing into the United States.The Pentagon said that after a brief discussion between soldiers from the two countries, the Mexican soldiers left the scene.

Trump has deployed several thousand U.S. active-duty and National Guard troops to the border to control migrants, most of them from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, heading through Mexico toward the U.S. border.The United States apprehended more than 100,000 people at the border in March, releasing many of them into the country on the promise they will later appear for asylum hearings that may not occur for two years.

FILE - A National Guard troop watches over the Rio Grande River on the border in Roma, Texas, April 10, 2018.
FILE - A National Guard troop watches over the Rio Grande River on the border in Roma, Texas, April 10, 2018.

Trump has several times threatened to close the southern border with Mexico. But he has backed off in the face of opposition from Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike and U.S. business interests who say that closing the border would severely disrupt economic transactions between the two countries. U.S.-Mexican trade totals more than $1.6 billion a day.

Earlier this month, Trump said he would give Mexico a year to interdict the flow of illegal drugs and migrants over the southern border. He said that if Mexico cannot within a year, he would impose auto tariffs, and if that didn't work, he would close the border.

The U.S. Congress has refused to fund Trump's request for billions of dollars to build a wall along the border. With rejection of the spending request, Trump declared a national emergency to tap funds allocated for other programs to build the wall, but 16 states and groups opposed to Trump's immigration policies have sued to block his actions.