Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Defense Dept. Sending 5200 Troops to Southern Border

Migrant caravan takes a break in southern Mexico Military to Deploy 5,000 Troops to Southern Border
Gerardo Duncan | 02 November, 2018, 09:44

A USA official said yesterday that in addition to 5,200 troops deployed to the southwest border with Mexico, the Pentagon has put 2,000 to 3,000 other active-duty troops on standby in case they also are needed.

O'Shaughnessy said just over 1,000 troops had already deployed to Texas as of Tuesday, where they will carry out tasks like building barriers, erecting tents, and flying government personnel by helicopter to and from different locations along the border.

President Donald Trump is escalating his threats against a migrant caravan traveling to the US border, labelling the effort an "invasion" and declaring the "Military is waiting for you".

Trump, tapped up his dire warnings about the caravans, tweeting, "This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!" More than 1,500 of the original group have applied for asylum in Mexico.

"We're going to secure the border", Air Force General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, the Northern Command leader, said at a news conference.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Friday offered temporary work permits, medical care and other benefits to migrants if they agree to register with authorities and remain in the Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, far from the USA border.

In addition to the main caravans in southern Mexico, a group of around 300 migrants left San Salvador, the El Salvador capital, on foot Sunday heading for the border with Guatemala in the hope of eventually reaching the United States.

Trump reiterated that he wanted to set up "tent cities" to hold people coming to the USA, including those seeking asylum.

He is expected to hold 11 rallies in the days ahead of the November 6 midterms, which Washington pundits are characterising as a referendum on his presidency.

It means that within days, the USA military will have more than three times as many troops along the southern border as it does fighting Islamic State in Syria.

The troops will join the more than 2,000 National Guardsmen that Trump has already deployed to the border.

Trump says that the US was "going to be prepared" and that the migrants are "not coming into our country".

Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that "we'll go up to anywhere between 10 and 15,000 military personnel on top of Border Patrol, ICE and everybody else at the border".

He added: "This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!" Those deployments, which primarily include military police and engineers, began Monday and will continue throughout the week, according to the document. The military troops are meant to assist the border patrol, not engage directly with migrants, several officials said.

The projected US deployment is already roughly the same size as the USA military contingent in Iraq.

"Please go back", the president tweeted Monday. 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.

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