Trump tweet claims ‘massive surge’ of migrants moving toward Arizona
PHOENIX — A late night tweet from President Donald Trump claimed Arizona faced an impending crush of migrants coming from Mexico but the Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector didn’t confirm the surge Friday.
Patrol spokesman Jose Garribay said in an email: “I will be unable to give you any interviews on that topic at this time” and directed questions about the tweet to the White House.
Trump tweeted Thursday:
Arizona, together with our Military and Border Patrol, is bracing for a massive surge at a NON-WALLED area. WE WILL NOT LET THEM THROUGH. Big danger. Nancy and Chuck must approve Boarder Security and the Wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018
About 7,000 Central American migrants have made their way to Mexico, seeking entry into the United States. They have not crossed the border.
U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Arizona) said Friday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News, the migrants, who clashed with authorities two weeks ago in Tijuana, were “trying to make us respond.”
“I’ve heard they’re moving to the east a bit to get away from … where our presence has been pretty strong. That’s what I believe the president is talking about,” he said.
Some places in Arizona, Biggs said, “don’t have fences.”
Gov. Doug Ducey told reporters that he did read the tweet and said he is working with border officials to understand “what the situation is there.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has prepared for the migrants by conducting training exercises in Arizona, deploying additional border agents and partnering with the military to “harden ports of entry.”
“With the help of the military, it’s freed up border patrol agents … to be more proactive (in stopping illegal crossings),” Biggs said. “(Border patrol) … interdict, not the military.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.