Trump plans 'tent cities' at US-Mexico border

Trump plans 'tent cities' at US-Mexico border

Donald Trump has sent 5,200 American soldiers to the US-Mexico border in a major escalation of the White House's response to the migrant "caravan" approaching through Mexico.

President Donald Trump, who has seized upon the Central American migrant caravan in campaign rallies ahead of the vote, said on Twitter that the military would be waiting for the procession - suggesting a far more direct role in confronting the migrants than US defense officials have previously suggested.

But critics say Trump is overstating the caravan's impact in order to influence the upcoming mid-term elections.

The 5,239 troops approved for the mission - more than double the number of USA service members deployed to Syria - will join approximately 2,100 National Guard troops deployed to the borders of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas on a similar security mission since last April.

The caravan, once 7,000-strong, has dwindled to about 3,500 men, women, and, children largely escaping poverty and violence in Central America.

The U.S. military still had no firm idea of what the operation would cost, he added.

Mexico said the previous day that temporary identity numbers had been issued to more than 300 migrants, which would allow them to stay and work in Mexico. "We're going to put tents up all over the place. and they're going to wait". He added that the country's immigration system makes it hard for the government to expatriate these individuals. O'Shaughnessy, Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command provides guidance during a planning and operational update briefing, October 28, 2018.

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

"According to what they say, we are not going to be very welcome at the border", Honduran migrant Levin Guillen said when asked about Trump.

Before Gen O'Shaughnessy spoke at Monday's news conference, US Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAleenan told reporters the migrants were estimated to be several weeks away from reaching the US border.

He is expected to hold 11 rallies in the days ahead of the November 6 midterms, which Washington pundits are characterizing as a referendum on his presidency. One migrant died after being struck by a rubber bullet in that area, Guatemalan firefighters have said. "Mexico should secure its own territory and turn this caravan around".

The decision to send active duty forces this time gives the Pentagon the ability to more rapidly mobile greater capability than would be immediately available with the Guard, officials tell Reuters.

Department of Homeland Security officials requested the new deployment of military forces, specifically citing the loosely organized group of some 3,500 Central American migrants now walking by foot in southern Mexico toward the United States.

They will bring border personnel "exactly where they need to be, regardless of the conditions", O'Shaughnessy said.

But news reports quote unnamed USA 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.

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