Published: Fri, November 02, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Over 5200 USA troops heading to Mexico border

Over 5200 USA troops heading to Mexico border

Migrants sleep packed together in a church courtyard at nightfall, as a thousands-strong caravan of Central Americans hoping to reach the US border stops for the night in Niltepec, Oaxaca state, Mexico on October 29, 2018.

It's a dramatic increase over the 800 to 1,000 troops initially forecast.

The Pentagon announcement comes as President Donald Trump has been focusing on the caravan to stir up his base a week before midterm elections.

Earlier Saturday, more than 100 federal police dressed in riot gear blocked a highway before dawn to encourage the migrants to apply for refugee status in Mexico rather than continuing the journey north.

U.S. Custom and Border Protection agents take part in drills at crossing gates.

They represent a fraction of the approximately 5,200 troops approved for the border security mission stood up in response to the migrant caravan - still more than one thousand miles from the USA border.

Because the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the US military from performing law enforcement activities within the United States, the troops will be in support roles only.

Trump, tapped up his dire warnings about the caravans, tweeting, "This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!"

Luis Acosta holds 5-year-old Angel Jesus, both from Honduras, as a caravan of migrants from Central America en route to the United States crossed through the Suchiate River into Mexico from Guatemala in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico on October 29, 2018.

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Mexico routinely complains about the treatment of its own citizens living in the U.S. without the proper papers, but has been detaining and deporting Central Americans in large numbers since 2014.

"There could be incidental interaction between our military members and migrants and other personnel that may be in that area", he added, and to address that, "we are making sure our soldiers, our Marines are going to be fully trained on how to do that interaction - they are going to understand the rules for that interaction", The Hill reported. "I see it as nothing more than pandering to the midterm elections by the president".

"What I can confirm is there will be additional force over and above the 5,239".

Migrants arriving at the border will now see a sizable US military presence - more than double the 2,000 who are in Syria fighting the Islamic State group - even though their mission will be largely a support role.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto launched a program on Friday dubbed "You are home", which promises shelter, medical attention, schooling and jobs to Central Americans who agree to stay in the southern Mexico states of Chiapas or Oaxaca, far from the USA border.

It's unclear if the caravan, which is reportedly moving about 25 miles each day, could arrive at the border in that time.

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. Advanced helicopters will allow border protection agents to swoop down on migrants trying to cross illegally, said Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy. Only about 200 in that smaller group made it to the border.

There are already 2,100 National Guard members at the border, sent after a previous request by Mr Trump in April.

That's good news. But that's only 1,700 of the more than 3,500 unemployed illegal aliens, whose numbers have dwindled, as TNA reported, from a reported high of 14,000.

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