Mattis expected to send 800 troops to US-Mexico border

Mattis expected to send 800 troops to US-Mexico border

This week, members of the caravan were making their way through a border crossing in southern Mexico, crossing from Guatemala into Ciudad Hidalgo in the state of Chiapas near the Pacific coast - roughly 1,100 miles from the US border, via the most direct route to Brownsville, Texas.

"Every time you see a Caravan, or people illegally coming, or attempting to come, into our Country illegally, think of and blame the Democrats for not giving us the votes to change our pathetic Immigration Laws!" he said on Twitter.

The Commander-in-Chief's comments come as approximately 1,700 migrants abandoned the caravan; citing lack of water, medicine, and extreme weather as they turned south and returned to their country of origin. When asked about Trump's tweets critical of the caravan and his vows to keep them out, the migrants have generally responded that he should stop attacking them and said they would keep trying to reach the United States.

The troops will not engage in lethal operations to stop the migrants. The troops retain the right of self-defense, but border patrol officers will still be the ones physically stopping illegal migration, the officials said. Many said the fear of returning to a violent homeland loomed larger than the president's threats.

President Trump hinted at the upcoming effort with a Thursday morning tweet, saying "I am bringing out the military for this National Emergency". "We only want to give our kids a better future".

Trump last week threatened to cut off foreign aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador should the caravan of people fleeing their homeland attempt to cross into the USA illegally. 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.

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The action, if implemented, would effectively bar those seeking asylum from entering the country.

"If someone migrates to the United States, it's to work, and working is not a crime", he said. Instead, after discussions with Mattis and others, Trump requested that hundreds of National Guard personnel be mobilized to serve in support roles. On Friday, Nielsen is scheduled to travel to California to visit a newly constructed border barrier that the Department of Homeland Security describes as "President Trump's 30-foot border wall".

In April, Mattis authorized as many as 4,000 troops to be sent there, as long as their states' governors approved. So far, only a little over 2,000 have been used.

Federal law prohibits the use of active-duty service members for law enforcement inside the US unless specifically authorized by Congress.

But Trump told a rally crowd in Wisconsin on Wednesday that moves were under way.

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