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The Military Deployment to the US-Mexico Border

The Military Deployment to the US-Mexico Border”

By the end of the day Monday, there were more than 5,000 active-duty troops deployed to the US-Mexico border, where they are laying razor wire in preparation for the arrival of migrant caravans consisting of potentially thousands of people from across Latin America.

A second caravan of around 1,000 to 1,500 people from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador entered Mexico last week and is around 1,000 miles from the southern USA border, while a much smaller caravan also entered Mexico from Guatemala on Friday - wading across the Suchiate River after Mexican authorities blocked access over a bridge.

"The Caravans are made up of some very tough fighters and people", he tweeted October 31. "Mexican soldiers hurt, were unable or unwilling to stop Caravan".

On Friday, he revisited his remarks, saying he never said USA forces would shoot migrants. And shooting someone over throwing a rock is definitely not proportional. "The military doesn't want to take aggressive actions because of all the legal restrictions ... they don't want to bump up against that", Timothy Dunn, an expert on border law enforcement at Salisbury University, told me.

"The requests that we have from the Department of Homeland Security and CBP (Customs and Border Protection) is to build (facilities) to support CBP personnel and our military personnel", he said. Some were very seriously injured, and they were throwing rocks in their face. But they do that with us, they're going to be arrested for a long time.

The Pentagon last week announced it would deploy roughly 5,200 active-duty troops to support the mission in Texas, Arizona and California, dubbed Operation Faithful Patriot.

Indeed, these four caravans now are traveling inside Mexico, totaling some 12,000 Central American migrants, as a separate Fox News report indicated on Sunday and as other outlets have noted. That's a law enforcement function, and the military can't perform those duties on United States soil unless there's no other way to enforce the law, William Banks, an expert on the military's domestic authorities at Syracuse University, told me. They shouldn't have any interactions with individuals at the border unless absolutely necessary.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, speaking to Fox News last week, said DHS had asked for air, engineering, logistics and planning support, as well as vehicle barriers and "ways in which we can protect my officers and agents, as well as the ports of entry themselves". He anticipated that the number of active duty troops could reach 7,000 soon.



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