- President Donald Trump warned the “caravan of migrants” approaching the US-Mexico border Monday that the US military will be waiting for them when they arrive.
- He characterised their march as an “invasion,” a term he has used in the past.
- His warning comes as the US military is preparing to send more than 5,000 more troops to the border, a significant increase over the initial estimates of 800 reported last week.
- The deployment would mean that there would be roughly the same number of troops serving at the border as there are in Iraq and Syria.
Eight hundred US troops are already on their way to the border, and a lot more are on the way.
The US military, responding to the demands of the current administration, is sending 5,200 troops to the southern border to bolster security, Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commander of North American Aerospace Defence Command and US Northern Command, revealed Monday, confirming an earlier report from The Wall Street Journal.
The thousands of additional US military personnel will arrive by the end of this week, and this is “just the start,” the general explained.
The troops being sent to the border to provide additional security as the so-called “caravan of migrants” pushes toward the US-Mexico border are advancing the mission for Operation Faithful Patriot. They will be deployed to Texas, Arizona, and California.
Over 2,000 National Guard personnel were sent to the border in April. The additional troops will, however, support Custom and Border Protection (CBP) officials, not the National Guard mission, known as Operation Guardian Support.
The US military is sending military engineers, military planning teams, helicopter companies, military police, strategic airlift and aviation assets, deployable medical units, and logistical support teams to support CBP operations. The troops that normally carry weapons will continue to do so at the border; however, they will engage in efforts in support of CBP operations to avoid Posse Comitatus Act violations.
The troops, which will be building barriers and hardening points of entry, are coming from Fort Bragg, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Fort Campbell, Fort Stewart, Fort Riley and Fort Knox, according to Fox News.
CBP is currently tracking two large groups consisting of more than 3,000 migrants pushing toward the US border, and there are other caravans forming, Kevin McAleenan, US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, explained.
The commissioner noted that the migrants were offered protections in Mexico, stressing that “you will not be allowed to enter the US the same way.”
“On the border, we are preparing what we call Defence Support for Civilian Authorities,'” Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis said Sunday, “If you look at how we organise for the storms,… we surround the storm.”
The secretary approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security Friday to deploy troops to the border.
President Donald Trump has been tweeting repeatedly about the caravan, calling significant attention to it ahead of the mid-term elections.
“Please go back,” the president tweetedMonday. “This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”