The Trump administration is expected to deploy more US troops to the southern border to assist with security operations in response to the ‘caravan’ of immigrants from Central America walking through Mexico to the US border, according to US officials on Thursday.
The plan calls for between 800 to as many as 1,000 more troops, the majority of whom will be forces on active duty from the US Army, to join an increasing border mission called for by President Donald Trump. This is according to two officials who requested anonymity because there is not yet an official announcement of the move. Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, could authorize the deployment as soon as Friday, after which it could be days before at least some of the troops are deployed.
Critics argue that using the military to deal with the problem would be ineffective and costly, but President Trump has made it clear he regards the situation as a national emergency, and that the caravan will not be allowed to enter the US illegally.
The caravan is still several weeks away from reaching the US-Mexico border. Authorities in Mexico say the number of immigrants in the caravan has also fallen from the United Nations estimate of 7,200 earlier this week, to as low as 3,630 by Wednesday. The troops would play a supporting role and not be responsible for conducting law enforcement, the US officials claim.