Thousands of U.S. troops could be sent to Mexico border

Thousands of U.S. troops could be sent to Mexico border

While one almost 4,000-person caravan is about 900 miles away from the USA border as of Monday, another group that set out north from Central America later met resistance from Mexican police as they illegally broke through the border between Mexico and Guatemala.

At the same time, Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy again denied sending thousands of troops to the border was part of a political stunt ahead of next week's midterm elections.

"Our concept of operations is to flow in our military assets with a priority to build up southern Texas and then Arizona and then California to reinforce points of entry to enhance CBP's ability to harden and secure the border ... by providing robust military capabilities", the general said.

"I think they are risking much to cross to this side", Rodriguez said.

Earlier Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Trump administration was "looking at a number of different options" when she was asked if the president was considering suspending that act.

"The president has made it clear that border security is national security", O'Shaughnessy said, as he detailed a much larger deployment that the 800 to 1,000 troops predicted by USA officials last week. USA officials have told Reuters the support mission would be coordinated by the US military's Northern Command.

McAleenan described the situation along the US-Mexico frontier as a "border security and humanitarian crisis" and said border agents over the past three weeks had apprehended about 1,900 people per day illegally crossing.

A little more than 1,000 troops are already in place in Texas, with more "moving in today", he told reporters. Generally, U.S. troops are authorized to use force in self-defense.

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Air Force General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, head of the USA 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. They will include exactly how many forces are needed. "The helicopters will ensure that CBP agents can arrive in the most austere locations".

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. "Thousands of migrants waited to advance, vowing to continue their long trek toward the US border".

The new demands come amid troubling reports about violence carried out by members of the caravan and the Mexican government's increasingly aggressive response to the groups. The Pentagon says an additional 5,200 active-duty troops could join them.

In addition, thousands of additional reserve forces are on hand to be sent to the border, The Hill reported.

Military police units are also being deployed.

Mattis suggested the mission would take time to develop, saying it would be a "phased" operation.

Federal law stipulates that active duty forces can not act in a law enforcement capacity, and, therefore, will be limited to acting in support of CBP.