The first 100 active-duty troops have arrived at the U.S.-Mexican border to provide support for Border Patrol agents as a caravan of migrants slowly makes its way northward from Central America, a Defense Department official told Fox News on Thursday evening.
The troops are doing initial assessments at the port of entry in McAllen, Texas. The official said there are about 2,600 troops now at staging bases, largely in Texas, with several thousand more expected to flow in through the weekend and move into California and Arizona, FOX NEWS reports.
Operation Faithful Patriot:
The Pentagon are mainly deflecting questions to just the nuts and bolts of the deployment to the four main border crossing areas located in Brownsville, Texas, McAllen, Texas, Nogales, Arizona, and San Ysidro just outside San Diego.
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales stated during a recent security conference attended by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as well as the presidents of Honduras and El Salvador and other Latin American dignitaries that terrorists and gang members are among the caravan.
Others in the Department of Homeland Security seem to back up this line of thinking. They released a statement that said that there are individuals within the caravan who are gang members or have significant criminal histories. Citizens of countries outside Central America, including countries in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and elsewhere, are currently traveling through Mexico toward the U.S.
The engineers will no doubt be aiding in the construction of additional border security measures as stringing concertina wire and Jersey type barriers. They’d also set up temporary housing facilities for aliens who actually are going to do things the legal way and apply for asylum, as well as detainees before they are sent back.
The helicopter crews will be there to shuttle Customs and Border Patrol officers to places needed at the border where illegals planning on crossing in large numbers as a quick reaction force. The active-duty troops, Secretary Mattis described their upcoming mission as “defense support for civilian authorities”. And it is important to recognize that.
Deployment length is an estimated 45 days only.
The numbers cited by Trump are significantly higher than defense officials have disclosed. The Pentagon said on Monday it was deploying more than 5,200 troops to the border but that the number would rise. On Wednesday, it said more than 7,000 troops would support the Department of Homeland Security along the border.
Several groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have accused Trump of politicizing the military ahead of next week’s congressional elections with his plans to use active military personnel to buttress border patrol efforts.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday rejected criticism that deploying thousands of troops to the border with Mexico was a political stunt.
“The support that we provide to the secretary for homeland security is practical support based on the request from the commissioner of customs and border police, so we don’t do stunts in this department,” ~ Mattis
As of right now, the soldiers deployed at our southern border are in a non-LEO situation, they are not allowed to carry firearms and they are not allowed to detain any illegals crossing over, they are there as a support roll only.
The Posse Comitatus Act, which limits federal troops’ deployment on U.S. soil and forbids using them to enforce domestic laws, can be used but congress must approve it. If it was approved it would place southern states along the border in a martial law and allow U.S. troops to be armed and engage the illegal aliens.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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