President TrumpDonald TrumpJury in Jussie Smollett trial begins deliberations Pence says he'll 'evaluate' any requests from Jan. 6 panel Biden's drug overdose strategy pushes treatment for some, prison for others MORE said he does not need to hold a summit with the leaders of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras as he continues his calls for the countries to do more to prevent migrants from traveling to the U.S.
Trump has excoriated the countries for what he says is inadequate action in trying to stop illegal immigration into the U.S. He has repeatedly threatened to shutter the border with Mexico to stem an increase in illegal border crossings and last week halted foreign assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
He’s maintained that the countries have stepped up efforts in recent days to combat the flow of migrants since he made the threats.
"No, no, I don't need a summit. I think we've done very well without the summit. They understand we stopped. We're saving $550 million. And I respectfully told — I thank him very much because for the last four days it's been great. You see that whole stream is drying up," he said in an interview with "Fox & Friends Weekend" that will air Saturday.
Trump has long criticized the Northern Triangle countries for failing to prevent migrants from making the trek, often placing the blame at the feet of the governments themselves and questioning why the U.S. provides them aid.
"We were paying them tremendous amounts of money, and we're not paying them anymore because they haven't done a thing for us. They set up these caravans," he said last week.
Trump this week also gave Mexico a one-year notice to address drug trafficking across the border and illegal immigration, threatening to slap auto tariffs on the country if it did not do enough to combat the rise in drugs and migrants coming into the U.S. He again warned he would shutter the border if the tariffs did not force further action.
"If the drugs don’t stop, or largely stop, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular cars. The whole ballgame is cars. And if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border," the president said.
But Trump added that Mexico has stepped up its efforts to stem border crossings since he began making the threat.
"They could stop them at the southern border, their southern border," he told "Fox & Friends Weekend." "And you look at what's happening now. They pulled in 1,500, 1,500 yesterday. They brought them back. They pulled in over 1,000 the day before, over 1,000 the day before that. Today I haven't gotten the number, but I mean it’s a lot."
Trump’s claims that Mexico has started to deport Central American migrants in large numbers only this week runs counter to statistics from Mexico’s Department of the Interior.
Mexico interacted with 886,640 Guatemalan, Honduran and Salvadoran migrants from 2011 through February 2019, including 472,249 (53 percent) in the four Mexican states that border Central America.
From 2001 to February 2019, Mexico deported 2.15 million people from the three countries.