United States ends 5,200 troops to secure Mexico border as caravan advances

Vastavam web: The United States said on Monday it will send over 5,200 troops to help secure the border with Mexico, a far larger-than-expected deployment as President Donald Trump hardens his stance on immigration ahead of Nov. 6 mid-term elections. The deployment will create an active-duty force comparable in size to the U.S. military contingent in Iraq, as Trump’s administration draws attention to a caravan of migrants that is trekking through Mexico toward the United States.

“The president has made it clear that border security is national security,” O’Shaughnessy said, as he detailed a much larger deployment that the 800 to 1,000 troops predicted by U.S. officials last week. O’Shaughnessy said some soldiers would be armed although it was unclear who, beyond U.S. military police, might need those weapons. U.S. officials have stressed that the troops would not police the border and instead carry out support roles like building tents and barricades, and flying U.S. customs personnel to locations along the border.

If the Republicans lose control of the House of Representatives or the Senate, it could become much harder for Trump to pursue his policy agenda in his remaining two years in office. According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in late September and early October, 75 percent of Republican voters said illegal immigration is a very big problem, compared with 19 percent of Democratic voters.

“President Trump has chosen just before midterm elections to force the military into furthering his anti-immigrant agenda of fear and division,” said Shaw Drake, policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union Border Rights Center in El Paso, Texas.