Mr. Trump is now focused on the fact that a caravan of Central American immigrants are slowly approaching the U.S. border to seek asylum. However, he has come up with every bit of fake news possible including that there are Middle Easterners among them and they are carrying small pox.
Now, on Wednesday, Trump said that he would deploy as many as 15,000 military personnel to the border with Mexico. Before the president left a Washington campaign rally, he said:
‘We’ll go up to anywhere between 10 and 15,000 military personnel on top of Border Control, ICE and everybody else at the border. Nobody’s coming in. We’re not allowing people to come in.’
Yesterday, the general in charge of border deployment said that 5,239 active-duty troops would be heading to the border with more potentially to follow, in addition to the 2,092 members of the National Guard already there.
According to The Post:
‘If the deployment reaches 15,000 troops, it would be roughly equivalent to the size of the U.S. military’s presence in Afghanistan and three times the size of the presence in Iraq. Already, the deployment is believed to be the largest of its kind in more than a century.’
U.S. Northern Command said in a statement:
‘The number of troops deployed will change each day as military forces flow into the operating area, but the initial estimate is that [the Defense Department] will have more than 7,000 troops supporting DHS across California, Arizona and Texas.’
Many have criticized Trump’s decision so close to the midterm elections saying it is just a tactic to fire up his base. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday that the decision was made in order to support the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection.
‘The support that we provide to the Secretary for Homeland Security is practical support based on the request from the commissioner of customs and border police, so we don’t do stunts in this department.’
Mattis went on to say:
‘We are there in support of the Secretary of Homeland Security, who needs additional military assistance.’
The Post reported:
‘Officials in Washington say that if thousands of migrants make it to the border and attempt to force their way through a crossing, the military will be needed and should be in place well in advance. The officials also hope the deployment will help deter the caravans from proceeding.’
It has been reported that there are two caravans with about 3,000 travelers in each, and they are being trailed by at least two other groups of several hundred migrants. Many of them are fleeing violence and poverty in Honduras and intend to seek asylum in the United States. It will be weeks before they arrive at the border.
Northern Command is overseeing the deployment of troops, and they have identified 13 bases in Arizona, California and Texas close to the operations area near the border that will serve as primary logistics hubs for the deployment.
It has been estimated that a deployment of 15,000 active-duty troops through mid-December would cost from $90 million to $110 million. Travis Sharp, a research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, calculated a 10,000-troop deployment of active-duty forces would cost about $60 million to $75 million.
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
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