Published: Fri, November 02, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Pentagon sending 5200 troops to secure border as mid-term elections loom

Pentagon sending 5200 troops to secure border as mid-term elections loom

President Trump previously said that the number of military troops deployed to the U.S.

His warning comes as the USA military is reportedly preparing to send 5,000 troops to the border, a significant increase over the initial estimates of 800 reported last week.

The deployment will create an active-duty force comparable in size to the USA military contingent in Iraq, as Trump's administration draws attention to a caravan of migrants that is trekking through Mexico toward the United States.

President Donald Trump, eager to focus voters on immigration in the lead-up to the mid-term elections next week, escalated his threats against the caravan, tweeting: "This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!" At least 1,000 caravan members have applied for asylum in Mexico, authorities say.

Terrence O'Shaughnessy, the chief of U.S. Northern Command, told reporters Monday that the deployments, dubbed "Operation Faithful Patriot", already are underway.

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.

"Right now, we're planning it, how we're going to do it", he added.

Trump reiterated that he wanted to set up "tent cities" to hold people coming to the USA, including those seeking asylum.

Several thousand Central American migrants planned to resume their trek through southern Mexico before dawn Monday, while authorities in that country and Guatemala tried to sort out the killing of a migrant at a border crossing.On Sunday, while the band of migrants was resting and reorganizing in Tepanatepec, several hundred in another group more broke through border barriers in the Guatemala town of Tecun Uman just as members of the caravan did more than a week earlier.

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He is expected to hold 11 rallies in the days ahead of the November 6 midterms, which Washington pundits are characterising as a referendum on his presidency.

In April, Trump ordered up to 4,000 National Guardsmen to head to the border as a different migrant caravan wound its way north. The military troops are meant to assist the border patrol, not engage directly with migrants, several officials said.

The White House is also weighing additional border security measures, including blocking those traveling in the caravan from seeking legal asylum and preventing them from entering the U.S.

The US President said that those illegal immigrants who enter the United States and request for asylum will not be released as long as their cases will not be considered by the immigration court. Those deployments, which primarily include military police and engineers, began Monday and will continue throughout the week, according to the document.

Advanced helicopters will enable border protection agents to swoop down on migrants, he said.

Migrants are entitled under both USA and worldwide law to apply for asylum.

"If you wanna wait, they don't usually get asylum".

The projected US deployment is already roughly the same size as the USA military contingent in Iraq.

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