Officials tell CNN that final details are drawn up, including where the troops come from and their specific tasks.Several administrative…
Officials tell CNN that final details are drawn up, including where the troops come from and their specific tasks.
Several administrative officials say it is expected that the Pentagon will pay for the bulk of the mission by using active service troops. It is not yet clear whether the homeland department will replace the Pentagon.
Officials also stress because the troops are there to support civilian authorities, they are not expected to come to be in regular contact with immigrants. If the troops carry arms, it will be solely for self-defense.
These officials say that the Pentagon has been under pressure from the White House to send troops to the southern border, especially after the president repeatedly demanded the use of the military. However, the extension is strongly expected to comply with current law prohibiting the routine use of troops in law enforcement.
The troops will not participate in mortal operations to stop immigrants. Instead, they are expected to provide fencing, wall materials and other technical support at several important points along the border where it is believed that migrants can try to cross.
The troops will also provide tents and healthcare for border authorities in these areas. The troops retain the right to self-defense, but border police officials will still be those who physically stop illegal migration, officials said.
President Trump hinted at the forthcoming effort with a Thursday morning tweet saying “I’m taking the military for this national emergency.”
The troops are expected to be in position next week.
On Thursday morning, the caravan Mapastepec, Mexico, left about 80 miles from the Mexico-Guatemala border and is not expected to reach the US border for a few weeks.
This deployment is different from an ongoing national emergency response effort along the border to support border management authorities with technical assistance. This assignment has approximately 4000 people authorized, but only 2,100 are currently in place according to the Pentagon.