Published: Fri, November 02, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

MEXICO BORDER: Trump deploys 5,200 soldiers over migrant influx

MEXICO BORDER: Trump deploys 5,200 soldiers over migrant influx

But the Wall Street Journal reported Monday that 5,000 troops would deploy to the southern border. Those migrants clashed with Mexican authorities determined not to let the caravan grow or be repeated.The new group, whose members called themselves a second caravan, gathered on the worldwide bridge leading from Tecun Uman to Mexico.

"They are incentivized to try to cross our border by the gaps in our legal framework and the expectation that they would be allowed to stay", said US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.

In an interview Monday, Trump said the US would build "tent cities" for thousands of Central American migrants making their way through Mexico to the United States.

It will attempt to stop illegal crossings in the south-west of the country by a caravan of migrants moving slowly north in Mexico.

It's a dramatic increase over the 800 to 1,000 troops initially forecast. The trip could be twice as long if the migrants head for the Tijuana-San Diego frontier, as another caravan did earlier this year.

Eager to focus voters on immigration in the lead-up to the midterm elections, President Donald Trump on Monday escalated his threats against a migrant caravan trudging slowly toward the US border as the Pentagon prepared to deploy thousands of USA troops to support the border patrol.

The active-duty deployment comes in addition to Operation Guardian Support, a National Guard mission launched last spring that involves just short of 2,100 troops. "If you want to wait, they don't usually get asylum".

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But Mexican officials seem intent only on seeing the caravan melt away as it travels toward the United States border. More than 1,500 of the original group have applied for asylum in Mexico.

"We'll be able to spot and identify groups and rapidly deploy CBP personnel where they are needed", O'Shaughnessy said.

General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, the head of U.S. Northern Command, said 800 U.S. troops were already en route to the Texas border and more were headed to the borders in California and Arizona. But the core group of mostly Honduran migrants has rejected his entreaty and continued heading north toward the US border.

The deployments thrust the military further into a political fight in which the president increasingly has sought to cast the migrants as a national security threat in the days leading up to the November 6 midterm elections. The military troops are meant to assist the border patrol, not engage directly with migrants, several officials said.

"Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border", Trump wrote without providing evidence, doubling down on the hardline anti-immigrant rhetoric that helped fuel his 2016 election victory.

Perhaps Trump doesn't understand that it is legal for anyone on USA soil, even if they arrived without documentation or authorization, to claim asylum and start a legal process that can end with them being allowed to stay.

The U.S. military has already begun delivering jersey barriers to the southern border in conjunction with the deployment plans. It remains hundreds of miles from US soil.

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