The US military will distribute 5,200 troops to the southwest border for several weeks, as a large caravan of migrants…
The US military will distribute 5,200 troops to the southwest border for several weeks, as a large caravan of migrants moves through Mexico, a dramatic increase at a time when illegal immigration is a key issue at the mid-term next week.
movement is the largest of active troops in the United States since the response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, former officials said, when thousands came within days. It is a major escalation of the US response at the border, which was scheduled for last week for 800 troops. With 2000 national members already in place, it will surpass the combined US military footprint in Iraq and Syria.
“Our first effort will be to cure the points for entry and address keyhole in areas around the entrance,” said the Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O & # 39; Shaughnessy, Commander of US Northern Command, Responsible for Continental USA
With the power balance of Congress to grip next Tuesday, President Trump has seized a migrant caravan to rally his Republican followers. Close to the US Senate or house elections fought in the states of Arizona, California and Texas.
“This is an invasion of our country and our military is waiting for you!” Mr Trump wrote on Monday morning on Twitter without
The critics of the president claim that active troops are a political gambit and that the domestic expansion will worsen military preparedness for defense abroad.
“When Donald Trump deploys troops for an unprecedented threat, it means that troops do not train or prepare for the battles that may be on the horizon for legitimate threats,” said Will Fischer, Director of Government Relations for VoteVets, a pro Democratic advocacy group. “This is a campaign puck.”
The president repeated his previous statement that gang members and criminals hid among immigrants, and last week he said that “unknown middle easters were intercepted”. The White House has not provided any evidence that such persons are in the caravan, but other US officials have cited earlier arrests of alleged criminals at the border.
Many people in the caravan have said they are flying from violence, poverty and political instability in the home. Their numbers grew rapidly after local media, social activists and leftist opposition politicians drew attention to the march.
A group of more than 4000 immigrants on foot is located approximately 900 miles from the US in southern Mexico while another group of about 3000 remains at the border between Guatemala and Mexico and hoped to join the team, CBP commissioner Kevin McAleenan said.
On Sunday, a 26-year-old Honduran died in a violent conflict with Mexican and Guatemalan authorities as the second group of immigrants tried to cross the border.
In addition to customs at the place of entry, troops are expected to assist border officers in charge of tent construction, provide medical support, transport border personnel by helicopter and crew commands and control centers, Gen. O & # 39; Shaughnessy said at a briefing at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington. Pentagon has called the mission Operation Faithful Patriot. “We will be able to detect and identify groups [of migrants] and quickly deploy [Customs and Border Protection] staff where they are needed,” he said.
The troops are not expected to enforce US immigration laws, officials said.
Under the new plans, approximately 1
,800 troops will go to Texas, 1700 to Arizona and 1 500 to California. The troops will be drawn from about 10 US Army installations and consist largely of military police and engineers, officials said. US mariners will also be put in, officials said. Some of the staff will be housed in nearby bases.
A Honduran man was killed in conflicts between a group of immigrants and police at the border between Mexico and Guatemala. Photo: Esteban Biba / Zuma Press
About 800 deployed on Monday, General Shaughnessy said. The mission is expected to continue until mid-December, the Pentagon has said.
The closest stretch of the American South Limit to the Caravan is located in the Rio Grande Valley of Southern Texas, the busiest United States site for illegal border crossings.  It’s unknown where the migrants may try to cross. As the caravan goes, it would take several weeks to reach Texas. California’s border would leave at least another 10 days to go.
Officials said that troops are now deployed in the unlikely case that more migrants are driving in cars or on a train to reach the border faster than their current hiking pace.
During previous frontier operations under President George W. Bush and Obama, many troops carried out support roles far from, said a manager. In 2007, approximately 6000 national janitors were employed in four border states during Operation Jump Start, which also aimed at strengthening immigration, but only about 3,500 were in the field, the official said.
Officials said they had no cost estimate for the latest deployment. The work of 2007 and a year 2010 that sent active troops and members of the National Guard to the border cost a total of $ 1.35 billion, according to a report from the Government of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Department of Defense for 2011.
Mr.. McAleenan has said that his agency updates long-term plans to handle a mass migration situation, including any temporary facilities for handling and processing.
Earlier this year, officials from the Hometown Department, including McAleenan and Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, have been publicly encouraged to be asylum seekers to request refuge at the entrance, saying that it was the only legal way to apply for asylum at the border. Crossing the border illegally is a federal misdemeanor.
Speaking together with General Shaughnessy on Monday, McAleenan said: “We do not allow a large group to illegally enter the United States.”
Since spring foreigners have routinely awaited days or weeks to cross the border at entry points and seek asylum from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas, which forces them to stay in shelter in Mexico.
Nearly 2,000 people have applied for asylum in Mexico, according to Mexico’s Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete, and Mexico has offered to let caravan members get work permits and have children enrolled in local schools. “The caravan has been sheltered in Mexico,” said McAleenan. “You may not enter the United States in the same way.”
GAO’s earlier deployment report found that moving troops to the border presented a number of challenges, including difficulties in integrating national security forces in home security operations.
Ministry of Defense officials “expressed concerns about the absence of an overall strategy for security in the southwestern boundaries and the challenges deriving from identifying and planning a role,” reported the report.
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