A New York Times report has revealed that US President Donald Trump suggested soldiers shoot migrants crossing the Mexico border in the leg and that a moat filled with alligators and snakes be dug out to deter them from entering.
After interviewing over a dozen White House and administration officials anonymously, the NYT has shed light on what took place in a meeting in the Oval Office in March.
Trump reportedly told his advisers to shut down the 2,000 mile border with Mexico by midday the following day. It was in private that he talked about the snake-filled moat, adding that he wanted an electrified wall with human flesh piercing spikes.
Trump ordered that the construction of the wall should speed up and when then Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielson told him he needed permission from land owners, he said take it and let them sue us.
Nielson resigned shortly afterwards.
"You're making me look like an idiot! I ran on this. It's my issue," the president said in a comment that underscores his agenda.
A key element of his presidential campaign was a promise to crackdown on illegal immigration.
In 2018 his zero tolerance policy separated over 2,300 children from their parents at the Mexican border.
During his presidential campaign in 2015 Trump issued a press releases calling for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."
In August a Palestinian student was initially denied entry into the US where he had been accepted at Harvard after immigration officials checked his social media posts at the airport and found that people on his friends list had posted critical comments about the US.
Ismail Ajjawi said he was questioned about his religion and religious practices before his visa was cancelled and he was deported.
Trump's Muslim travel ban is a controversial policy which has been revised several times since he took office. It bans nationals of the Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Libya, Syria and Yemen from entering the US.
It has been challenged in the courts on the grounds that it has a religious bias at heart.
In December 2018 a terminally ill boy in the US died. His Yemeni mother who lived in Egypt fought a court battle to see him before he died after having previously being denied entry due to Trump's travel ban.
That year the US administration denied over 37,000 visa applications.