While talking to reporters at the White House, President Trump said between 10 and 15,000 military personnel could be deployed to the southern border to meet the migrant caravan numbering an estimated 5000 people. There are currently 2100 National Guard at the border sent during the last deployment in April. At 15,000, the troops at the border would outnumber the troops in Afghanistan. Supporters praised the decision as an effective deterrent while critics say it’s a stunt to get out the vote.
- Is the military deployment a stunt?
- Will deploying the troops to the southern border deter the migrants?
- Is the migrant caravan an ‘invasion?’
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States could send as many as 15,000 troops to the border with Mexico, as he hardens his stance against a caravan of migrants fleeing violence and poverty in Central America.
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.
“As far as the caravan is concerned, our military is out … We’ll go up to anywhere between 10 and 15,000 military personnel, on top of Border Patrol, ICE and everybody else at the border,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Trump did not say how many of those 15,000 would be National Guard. There are already 2,100 U.S. National Guard forces at the border, sent after a previous Trump request in April, and they are authorized to go up to 4,000.