President Donald Trump says he's "bringing out the military" to address what he's calling a national emergency at the southern border.
The additional troops are to provide what one official described as logistical support to the Border Patrol. They would assist the Border Patrol by providing things such as vehicles, tents and equipment.
The official said the troops would satisfy elements of a "wish list" for military assistance sent to the Pentagon by the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. agency with responsibility for the border. In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have nearly no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis talks to the media in presence of Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev following their meeting at the government building in Skopje, Macedonia, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. The Homeland Security Department disputed Judd's characterization, and said the Guard's assistance helped increase apprehensions and seizures of smuggled drugs.
The comments in Thursday's tweet come as thousands of Central American migrants continue their caravan trek through Mexico toward the hoped-for, but still far-distant USA border. Most are Hondurans, seeking to escape poverty and violence, and include families with children.
He told them to return to their home countries and if they want, they can apply for citizenship status like millions of others are doing.
The troops will not engage in lethal operations to stop the migrants. Those who clear an initial screening are often released until their cases are decided in immigration court, which can take several years. They will not be allowed in.
In the current situation, active duty troops will not be on armed security missions that could lead to a similar incident.
Foreign nationals fleeing unsafe conditions have the right to apply for asylum at the U.S. border under USA law. Those troops are under the control of state governors and are limited to support roles such as providing surveillance. So far, only a little over 2,000 have been used.
"Wait'll you see what happens over the next couple of weeks". In May, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told the Los Angeles Times that Border Patrol agents "have seen no benefit" and that the deployment was "a colossal waste of resources".