Pentagon will deploy 5200 troops to border to stop 'caravan'

Pentagon will deploy 5200 troops to border to stop 'caravan'

Kerry Wise
November 2, 2018

Shaughnessy said the plan is to deploy the additional troops first to Texas and then to Arizona and California in support of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Imagery released by the Defense Department online suggests that other units already participating in the mission, dubbed Operation Faithful Patriot, include the 89th Military Police Brigade's Task Force Griffin out of Fort Hood and the 19th Engineering Battalion out of Fort Knox.

The announcement comes just days after President Trump declared the migrant caravan making its way to the USA a "National Emergency".

In an interview Monday, Trump said the USA would build "tent cities" for asylum seekers.

There is a legal obligation under worldwide law to hear asylum claims from migrants who have arrived in the U.S. if they say they fear violence in their home countries.

"This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!"

There are about 2,000 USA troops deployed in Syria to combat Islamic State, according to the Pentagon. The standoff at the riverbank followed a more violent confrontation on the border bridge over the river Sunday night, when the migrants threw rocks and used sticks against Mexican police.

The announcement on Monday is likely to help draw attention ahead of the midterm elections back to migration, as Mr Trump faces hard questions over gun control and inciting violence in the wake of the Pittsburgh mass shooting and politically-motivated mail-bombs. But critics say Trump is politicizing the military, deploying them as a stunt to drive Republican voters to the polls without any real national security threat.

"By the end of the week, we will deploy over 5,200 soldiers to the southwest border", Air Force General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, head of the USA military's Northern Command, told reporters.

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"We just want to a way to get to our final goal, which is the border", he said.

A new group of Central American migrants are met by Mexican Federal Police after the migrants waded in mass across the Suchiate River, that connects Guatemala and Mexico, in Tecun Uman, Guatemala.

"The Mexican government rejects the acts of violence on the border with Guatemala, and reiterates that the only way to enter Mexico is to obey immigration laws", he said.

Drake added: "Sending active military forces to our southern border is not only a huge waste of taxpayer money, but an unnecessary course of action that will further terrorize and militarize our border communities".

It's unclear if the caravan, which is reportedly moving about 25 miles each day, could arrive at the border in that time.

"Please go back", the president tweeted Monday. "Military personnel are legally prohibited from engaging in immigration enforcement, and there is no emergency or cost-benefit analysis to justify this sudden deployment".

Mattis told reporters traveling with him Sunday that details of the deployment are still being worked out but he should have them Sunday night.

"I see it as a political stunt and a waste of military resources and waste of tax dollars", said Kerlikowske, who was at the helm during a major surge of Central Americans migrants in 2014. U.S. Transportation Command posted a video on its Facebook page Monday of a C-17 transport plane that it said was delivering Army equipment to the Southwest border in support of the operation.