UPDATE 2 — 10/31, 4:21 p.m. EDT: President Trump said Wednesday the U.S. military could send 15,000 troops to the southern border and his administration is considering halting humanitarian aid to Central American countries.
UPDATE — 4:46 p.m. EDT: The Defense and Homeland Security departments announced Monday afternoon 5,200 troops will be sent to the U.S. southern border as part of Operation Secure Line, which also includes the construction of temporary physical barriers and the transportation of Border Patrol.
Prior to the announcement, President Trump on Twitter described Central Americans seeking asylum in the U.S. as “an invasion of our Country”.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday an additional 5,000 U.S. military troops will be deployed along the southern border with Mexico in anticipation of at least two migrant caravans comprising approximately 10,000 Central Americans seeking refuge in North America.
Following news Thursday the Trump administration was preparing executive action to stop migrants from crossing the U.S. border, Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen said her department was “looking at every possible way, within the legal construct that we have, to make sure that those who do not have a legal right to enter this country are not coming.“
DHS is currently working with the Defense Department in logistical and technological areas to help secure America’s southern border.
“We do not have any intention right now to shoot at people, but they will be apprehended,” Nielsen said in a Fox News interview.
According to anonymous Pentagon officials cited by the Journal, military personnel with be equally deployed on the border in three southwestern states until mid-December, with 1,800 going to Texas, 1,700 to Arizona and 1,500 in California.
While multiple-thousands of mostly Guatemalans and Hondurans continue to head through Mexico despite attempts by federal police to block their progress, over 1,700 migrants have already sought asylum there.
Last week, President Enrique Pena Nieto unveiled a plan allowing migrants to apply for refugee status in the southern Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca in exchange for housing, employment, education and health care.
[Politico] [AP] [Washington Examiner] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy BBC]