Trump says migrant caravans are ‘larger’ than reported

Trump says migrant caravans are ‘larger’ than reported
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE said in a new interview that it looks as though the Central American immigrant caravans moving toward the U.S. are much larger than reported.

"You have caravans coming up that look a lot larger than it's reported, actually," the president told ABC News.

"I mean, I'm pretty good at estimating crowd size. And I will tell you, they look a lot bigger than people would think.”

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Estimates vary on the each caravan's size. Many analysts number the first caravan somewhere around 5,000 and 7,000, but some place it as high as 14,000, according to Politifact

However, each caravan is reportedly losing members as it travels.

The president made the comments as he defended saying that he may send as many as 15,000 U.S. troops  to the border with Mexico.

"It's very important," Trump said. "We have to have a wall of people - very highly trained people, terrific dedicated patriots. That's what they are."

"You look at that it almost looks like an invasion," the president said later in the interview. "It really does look like an invasion."

"We can't have it," Trump said. "We can't have it from a cost standpoint. It's not fair to our citizens."

"They are some dangerous people," the president said. "These are some rough people."

Violent clashes were reported when members of the first caravan entered Mexico illegally from Guatemala, fighting past the policemen deployed there. 

NBC News reported that one immigrant was killed when a rubber bullet struck him in the head and dozens of people were injured.

Mexico has since deployed hundreds of police, helicopters and boats to its southern border to try to enforce immigration law.

"Members of this group are much more violent and aggressive” than the earlier immigrants who are now crossing southern Mexico, the head of Mexico’s immigration agency told The Wall Street Journal.

Nonetheless, a second caravan has pushed through Mexico's southern border.