U.S. to send over 5,000 troops to Mexico border

Friday, 02 Nov, 2018

"We will continue to adjust the number and inform you of those".

"What I can confirm is there will be additional force over and above the 5,239".

The U.S. military has already begun delivering jersey barriers to the southern border in conjunction with plans to deploy active duty troops there. The group made up largely of women and children who have said they seek refugee status remain some 1,000 miles from the US border, according to The Associated Press.

That's in addition to the more than 2,000 members of the National Guard already helping at the border now.

"According to what they say, we are not going to be very welcome at the border", Honduran migrant Levin Guillen said when asked about Trump.

The massive deployment marks a sharp increase from initial estimates last week, when USA officials said about 800 active-duty troops would head south. "Our goal is to make it to the [U.S.]".

Air Force General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, head of the United States military's Northern Command, told reporters the 5,200 troops would focus on trying to "harden" border crossings and surrounding areas, with work done by combat engineering battalions with experience building temporary fencing. Only about 200 in that smaller group made it to the border.

While migrants on the bridge had appeared to be preparing for a second day of confrontations early Monday, instead they tried the route taken by the first caravan 10 days ago after it, too, was blocked: turn to the river below.

He said the Pentagon was planning logistics and details.

The aviation units are among ten listed in the planning documents which are slated to be in place by November 2 and conclude their mission on December 15.

But any migrants who complete the long trek to the southern US border already face major hurdles - both physical and bureaucratic - to being allowed into the United States.

Pueblo Sin Fronteras, who helped organize the caravan and has been deeply involved with its continuation, has said it hopes to hold meetings in Mexico City with federal lawmakers and authorities as well as representatives of the incoming government to discuss migrants' rights and the caravan's future.

Lackland AFB and Davis Monthan AFB, along with Camp Pendleton in California will serve as staging areas so the active duty troops can receive training on the rules of engagement and CBP procedures when they are eventually deployed along the border.

Those deployed will include engineers, planners, military police, pilots, cooks and medical personnel.

Additionally, a headquarters unit from the Marine's Corps Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) out of Pendleton will travel further south to San Diego.

O'Shaughnessy said the mission of what's being called Operation Faithful Patriot is to harden the border in preparation for the caravan of asylum-seeking migrant families making its way north through Mexico.

That's because the military is bound by the Posse Comitatus Act, a 19th- century federal law that restricts participation in law enforcement activities.

Although the troops will be armed, they are not constitutionally allowed to enforce immigration law, and are to be used only to provide logistical and other kinds of support to the Border Patrol - bolstering the approximately 2,000 National Guard soldiers already on the border.

The military operation drew quick criticism.