The U.S. will deploy an additional 5,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, said White House officials today. The deployment will more than triple the military presence there, and is presumably a Trump administration response to the so-called "Migrant Caravan," about which white supremacists in the United States are currently fixated.
BREAKING Pentagon will send 5200 troops to border, has 150 miles of concertina wire ready to use, Northcom says
— Nick Miroff (@NickMiroff) October 29, 2018
Earlier on Monday, before the announcement, President Donald Trump tweeted:
"Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border."
This is a lie, by the way.
"Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process," Trump continued.
"This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!"
Even as pipe bombs are being discovered and the synagogue massacre dead are being buried, President Donald Trump continues to describe a non-violent caravan of Central American asylum seekers as "an invasion."
Again, he's calling it an "invasion." But there is no invasion. It's a lie.
This demonizing and dehumanizing language from Mr. Trump is what authorities say inspired a deranged man in Pittsburgh to murder 11 Jewish people two days ago, in their house of worship, as they prayed.
5,200 troops. Are they gearing up for a bloodbath? If so, who's it for, the migrants, or us?
The additional troops, when combined with the 2,000 National Guard already there, roughly equals the number of US forces currently deployed to Iraq & Syria.
— W.J. Hennigan (@wjhenn) October 29, 2018
From the Washington Post:
One Department of Homeland Security official with knowledge of the planning said 5,000 active-duty soldiers would be temporarily sent to the border, but two other U.S. officials cautioned that the final number had yet to be determined by the Pentagon. One of them said that the deployment will consist of "thousands" of U.S. troops.
It was not immediately clear why the scale of the mobilization increased fivefold from the 800 to 1,000 troops that defense officials were discussing last week. The additional personnel would join roughly 2,000 National Guard troops assigned to the border since April, and the combined force would be the largest deployment there in at least a decade.
Trump said in a tweet Monday that the caravan's plans to reach the border amounted to "an invasion."
"Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border," he tweeted without evidence. "Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!"
The White House has sought to make immigration the top issue of the Nov. 6 midterm elections, confident that Trump's hard-line enforcement message will continue to drive his conservative base to the polls and even draw some crossover appeal among more-moderate voters. The president has latched on to the migrant caravan, helping draw attention to the group and labeling it a national security threat.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday that the administration is considering several administrative actions on the southern border, though she declined to describe the options publicly. Trump will do what "he deems necessary" on immigration, Sanders said.
Pentagon officials and Homeland Security officials are preparing a joint news conference Monday afternoon to describe the deployment in greater detail. A DHS official involved in the preparations said that plans have yet to be finalized but that the troop levels that were in consideration last week were not realistic.
"We've asked for capabilities, and DHS is looking to fill capabilities, and the [Pentagon] is in the process of determining which units to send and how many personnel it'll take, and that has not yet been determined," said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss deliberations.
— Eric Rauchway (@rauchway) October 29, 2018
Number of troops being sent to the border: 5,200
Est. current size of caravan: 3,000-4,000
Normal daily number of pedestrian crossings at El Paso crossing: 18,000
— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) October 29, 2018
That's twice this week that a Fox host has gone to the "foreigners bring disease" trope, a staple of racist and antisemitic incitement for hundreds of years. https://t.co/7CRh034IRB
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 29, 2018
The additional troops deployed to border will provide logistical support, medical aid, housing, transportation and a combined command post to assist @CBP with border and immigration enforcement. The 5,200 addtl solidiers includes 800 on the way from Ft. Campbell and Ft. Knox.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) October 29, 2018
The United States is sending 5,200 troops to the southern border in anticipation of the arrival of the "caravan" of migrants — AKA men, women, & children fleeing violence in Central America — that are currently in Mexico. American forces will be armed.
— W.J. Hennigan (@wjhenn) October 29, 2018