Report: Pentagon to send hundreds more troops to U.S.-Mexico border

Matt Saintsing
October 25, 2018 - 11:38 am

Photo by Donna Burton for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

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800 U.S. troops or more could be on their way to the U.S.-Mexico border to help border patrol thwart a growing caravan of Central American migrants, according to CNN and other reports.

Citing three administration officials, CNN says Defense Secretary Jim Mattis could sign deployment orders as soon as Thursday and troops could arrive as early as next week. 

It remains unclear if the troops would be federally activated National Guard soldiers or active duty troops. 

According to CNN, they would not be authorized to use lethal force to stop the migrants, but are expected to help put up fencing and other barriers, as well as “technical support” at strategic points along the border. 

The Defense Department "continues to monitor events along the Southwest U.S. border, including the status of the migrant caravan heading north through Mexico," Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Bill Speaks tells Connecting Vets. "We anticipate receiving a request for assistance from the Department of Homeland Security and are currently working with DHS to determine the specifics of our support to Customs and Border Protection (CBP)."

He adds the Pentagon is committed to supporting CBP with border security operations, and to help Homeland Security to "stem the tide of illegal entry into the United States." 

In a Thursday morning tweet, President Donald Trump hinted of the deployment saying “I am bringing out the military for this National Emergency. They will be stopped!” 

Some 4,000 National Guardsmen are authorized to support border patrol and other law enforcement agencies, although only 2,100 are currently in place. 

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