The US military is sending more than 5,200 troops to the southern border in preparation for the arrival of a caravan of migrants

GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images
  • The US military is preparing to send even more US troops to the southern border in preparation for the arrival of a caravan of migrants.
  • There will be additional forces on top of the 5,200 announced Monday, a top US commander explained Tuesday, but the exact number has yet to be officially revealed.
  • Reporting from last week suggested that only a few hundred troops were headed to the border. Now that number is in the thousands.

The US military intends to send even more active-duty troops to the US-Mexico border than previously revealed by the Department of Defence and Department of Homeland Security.

“What I can confirm is there will be additonal forces,” Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of US Northern Command, told reporters at the Pentagon Tuesday. “But the magnitude of that difference we don’t have an answer for right now.”

The general announced Monday at a joint DoD/DHS press conference that the US military was deploying around 5,200 active-duty troops to the southern border in support of the Customs and Border Protection mission. The mission is to advance Operation Faithful Patriot.

“Our concept of operations is to flow in our military assets with a priority to build up southern Texas and then Arizona and then California to reinforce points of entry to enhance CBP’s ability to harden and secure the border,” O’Shaughnessy explained, noting that the increased security is a response to the caravans of migrants marching on the border.

He characterised the caravans as “different than what we’ve seen in the past,” adding, “What we have seen is clearly an organisation at a higher level than we have seen before.” The general is referring to several groups of migrants heading north through Mexico on foot, the largest group consisting of more than 3,000 people.

There are already more than 2,000 National Guard troops at the border carrying out missions as part of Operation Guardian Support.

The military is responding to the orders of the Trump administration, which is emphasising its immigration crackdown ahead of upcoming mid-term elections. “This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!” President Donald Trump tweeted Monday.

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