U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday suggested that the government beef up its security at the US-Mexico border in response to what he described as a “serious threat” posed by a caravan of thousands of migrants from Central America.
The Texas Republican said that mobilizing the National Guard or sending more Border Patrol agents may stop the caravan of migrants at the U.S. border.
The National Guard troops are not allowed to interact with people who cross the border unless they have approval from the Defense Secretary or those attempting to cross the border have already been detained.
Although the final destinations of the caravan remain unclear, Rio Grande Valley in Texas has served as the main entry point for thousands of Central Americans for almost five years.
A spokesperson for the United Nations said that between 7,000 to 10,000 migrants from South America, who are fleeing their homelands because of poverty and violence, have joined the caravan.
After talking about immigration at a rally in Houston, Cruz told reporters that thousands of people are pledging to violate U.S. laws by crossing into the country illegally. He said that this is a serious threat that needs to be stopped with force.
“Whether that means putting Border Patrol at the border to stop them or whether that means calling up the National Guard, which President Trump has done before, which President Bush has done before — that even President Obama called up the National Guard,” Cruz said, according to the Texas Tribune.
President Donald Trump has sent National Guards to the nation’s border in April in a bid to stop the flow of people from illegally entering the United States.
Despite the deployment and increased interior enforcement, tens of thousands of migrants, mostly from Central America, continued to cross the southern border to seek asylum.
The caravan entered Mexico over the weekend as it heads to the United States, drawing threats from Trump.
The President warned on Sunday that full efforts are being implemented to prevent the illegal migrants from crossing the country’s border.
“I’m willing to send the military to defend our southern border if necessary, all caused because of the illegal immigration onslaught brought by the Democrats,” Trump has said, according to USA Today.
The President was in Texas on Monday to campaign for Cruz, who is running for re-election. He is being challenged by Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat who represents El Paso.