More than 5,000 troops being sent to harden US-Mexico border

Oct 29, 2018, 9:45 AM | Updated: 1:56 pm
FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2010, file photo, California National Guard Sgt. Howard Schwenke stands in ...

FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2010, file photo, California National Guard Sgt. Howard Schwenke stands in formation with California National Guard troops. (John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, File)

(John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, File)

Military and border enforcement officials said Monday that more than 5,000 active-duty troops will be sent to enhance protection at the U.S.-Mexico border in advance of the arrival of large groups of immigrants from Central American.

The military presence is part of a plan called Operation Faithful Patriot.

Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy said during a press conference that more than 5,200 armed troops will be deployed by the end of the week.

“Our concept of operations is to flow in our military assets with the priority to build up southern Texas, and then Arizona, and then California,” O’Shaughnessy said.

He said the purpose was to enhanced Customs and Border Protection’s “ability to harden and secure the border.”

The forces will be in addition to more than 2,000 National Guardsmen already at the border.

“We will not allow a large group to enter the United States in an unsafe and unlawful manner,” Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 1,700 of the troops which would be sent to Arizona. Another 1,800 troops would be sent to Texas, while 1,500 would be sent to California, the paper reported.

The news was a major increase from the initial estimates of 800 troops that were expected to be deployed to the border.

McAleenan said two caravans of immigrants are making their way toward the United States.

He said about 3,500 are in southern Mexico near the border between the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, about 1,000 miles away from the closest U.S. border crossing in McAllen, Texas.

The trip could be twice as long if the migrants head for the Tijuana-San Diego frontier, as another caravan did earlier this year. Only about 200 in that smaller group made it to the border.

Another group of around 3,000 people has started the trek but hadn’t yet crossed from Guatemala into Mexico.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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More than 5,000 troops being sent to harden US-Mexico border