Trump walks back earlier remarks, says migrants won't be fired upon at border

 
 
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said the migrants would be arrested and not fired upon by troops.
 
“They won’t have to fire. What I don’t want is I don’t want these people throwing rocks,” Trump said before leaving for campaign rallies in West Virginia and Indiana.
 
“What they did to the Mexican military is a disgrace,” he added. “If they do that with us, they're going to be arrested for a long time.”
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Trump made his latest comments one day after saying that U.S. soldiers along the southern border might fire on migrants traveling in a caravan from Central America, remarks that drew widespread backlash from political and military leaders. 
 
"They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back," he said Thursday. "I told them, consider it a rifle."
 
The president on Friday denied ever saying that he wanted the military to fire on migrants, saying “I didn't say shoot, I didn't say shoot.“
 
Trump has sought to make immigration the central issue of next week's midterm election in an effort to drive his core supporters to the polls and save Republican majorities in the House and Senate. 
 
He has made a series of hardline proposals, some of which even members of his own party say have gone too far. 
 
The president deployed 5,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to defend against the caravan, a shrinking group of men, women and children mostly fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries. Trump has described the caravan an “invasion“ of violent criminals. 
 
Trump said Wednesday that the United States could send as many as 15,000 troops to the border, more than the number currently serving in Afghanistan and more than double the number of people in the caravan. 
 
The president delivered a speech on Thursday saying his administration is finalizing a plan to deny asylum to anyone who enters the U.S. illegally, a proposal that critics noted is legally questionable. 
 
He also vowed to end birthright citizenship for the children of non-legal residents, a right that is enshrined in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.