Trump Administration Sending 800 Additional National Guard Troops To Border To Stop Migrant Caravan

Migrants from Central America walk in a group into Mexico
John Moore / Getty Images

Defense Secretary James Mattis is expected to sign orders sending at least 800 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday to stop migrants seeking asylum in the United States. President Donald Trump said Thursday morning that he planned to involve more troops in an effort to stop the caravan of people coming from Central America through Mexico.

“Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council is right when he says on @foxandfriends that the Democrat inspired laws make it tough for us to stop people at the Border. MUST BE CHANDED, but I am bringing out the military for this National Emergency. They will be stopped!” he tweeted.

Trump has advocated the use of military force to stop the caravan, which includes about 7,500 individuals.

“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!” Trump tweeted earlier this month.

Trump has ramped up his rhetoric this week on stopping the caravan as it nears the United States. On Monday, in an interview aboard Air Force One, Trump promised to stop the caravan of migrants at the U.S. border, saying there was no limit to the number of troops he would send to stop the group. He informed a crowd at a rally in Wisconsin on Wednesday that the military was ready to secure the border.

Mattis hasn’t detailed where the troops will come from, nor what their specific tasks will be. It isn’t clear if the National Guard troops will come from activated forces or active duty troops. Reports say that the troops will provide tents, medical care, and other support for authorities working at the border and the troops will not be expected to use any physical force to stop migrants from crossing.

Troops will also help provide fencing, barrier materials, and support in areas where migrants are expected to cross. Officials expect troops to be in place by next week, joining the 2,100 who are already in place from a separate deployment.

President Trump has blamed Democrats for what he calls a “National Emergency,” saying that the Democrat Party would “rather protect criminal aliens than AMERICAN CITIZENS” and calling for voters to move liberal politicians out of office.

“For those who want and advocate for illegal immigration, just take a good look at what has happened to Europe over the last 5 years. A total mess! They only wish they had that decision to make over again,” he tweeted.