Pentagon to send 'several hundred' troops to US-Mexico border, says official

26 October, 2018, 03:16 | Author: Carlos George
  • Dems Tongue Tied on Caravan Issue

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to sign an order sending the troops to the border, bolstering National Guard forces already there, an official said Thursday.

The Department of Homeland Security requested the troops, NPR's Tom Bowman reports, after President Trump said he is intent on stopping any of the migrants from crossing the border.

These troops will not be assisting border patrol agents with apprehending illegal immigrants.

Upwards of 800 soldiers will soon be deployed to the United States' southern border with Mexico, with USA officials telling Fox News they will join thousands of National Guard members already operating in the region.

The official said the troops would satisfy elements of a "wish list" for military assistance sent to the Pentagon by the Department of Homeland Security, the United States agency with responsibility for the border.

President Trump's rhetoric in recent days has been consistent with his campaign promise to secure the southern border. He said those trying to enter the U.S.

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Trump directed an afternoon tweet to the caravan of Central American migrants who've been on the move since earlier this month. Thousands of Central American migrants are now making their way through Mexico in hopes of reaching the United States. "Go back to your Country and if you want, apply for citizenship like millions of others are doing!" tweeted the President. But those members remain under the control of the governors of the states where they're positioned, and their activities are limited to supportive roles, such as providing surveillance.

DHS asked for help in various forms, the official said, including air transport and other logistical assistance.

The troops will also provide tents and medical care for border authorities in those areas.

It is not yet clear if all or part of the new deployment will be federally-activated national guard forces - those now there were sent by individual states, in response to the April announcement - or active duty troops.

Federal law prohibits the use of active-duty service members for law enforcement inside the USA unless specifically authorized by Congress.

Trump seemed to hint at the troop announcement to a rally in Wisconsin on Wednesday. "And the military is ready".

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