Pentagon ramps up military activity across border before midterms
- Author: Joey Payne Nov 02, 2018,
Nov 02, 2018, 0:59
Traveling mostly on foot, the caravan of some 4,000 migrants and a much smaller group of hundreds more are still weeks, if not months, before reaching the USA border.
But the Wall Street Journal reported Monday that 5,000 troops would deploy to the southern border. So said General Terrence O'Shaughnessy during a joint Defense Department and Customs and Border Protection press briefing Monday.
At a meeting brokered by Mexico's National Human Rights Commission, police said they would reopen the highway and only wanted an opportunity for federal authorities to explain the proposal to migrants who had rejected it the previous evening.
In addition to the main caravans in southern Mexico, a group of around 300 migrants left San Salvador, the El Salvador capital, on foot Sunday heading for the border with Guatemala in the hope of eventually reaching the United States.
The first group passed through the spot via the river - wading or on rafts - and was advancing through southern Mexico.
"If they apply for asylum, we are going to hold them until such time as their trial takes place". Migrants saying he was struck in the head by a rubber bullet fired by police, but Mexican authorities deny the allegation.
Trump says in an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham that if any of the migrants, who are still hundreds of miles away, do make it to the border and apply for asylum, as they're legally entitled, the USA plans to "hold them until such time as their trial takes place".
Despite suggestions by Trump to Fox News on Monday that tents along the border could be used to house migrants who have applied for asylum, O'Shaughnessy told reporters that the tents, along with building facilities, would only be erected to house CBP personnel. One of the riders died from a head injury although it is unclear how he sustained it.
But it doesn't sound as if the migrants want to stay in Mexico, a corrupt narcostate.
"If you're already seeking asylum, you've been given a generous offer", he said of Mexico.
His warning comes as the United States military is reportedly preparing to send 5,000 troops to the border, a significant increase over the initial estimates of 800 reported last week.
But news reports quote unnamed US officials as saying the White House is weighing a range of administrative and legal actions on grounds of national security to restrict the ability of migrants to seek asylum.
Trump, tapped up his dire warnings about the caravans, tweeting, "This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!"
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.
"Please go back", he urged them, "you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process". You know that. The problem is they release them in and then they have the trial, three years later, and nobody shows up."Under current protocol, migrants who clear an initial screening are often released until their cases are decided in immigration court, which can take several years". USA officials have told Reuters the support mission would be coordinated by the US military's Northern Command.