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Federal government to relocate 250 Arizona troops to Texas for caravan

Central American immigrant families look out through the fence of a shelter in Piedras Negras, Mexico, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. A caravan of about 1,600 Central American migrants camped Tuesday in the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras, just west of Eagle Pass, Texas. The governor of the northern state of Coahuila described the migrants as "asylum seekers," suggesting all had express intentions of surrendering to U.S. authorities. (Jerry Lara/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

PHOENIX — The federal government announced Wednesday that it would relocate approximately 250 troops from Arizona to Texas as a caravan of 1,600 Central American migrants neared the border.

Capt. Bill Speaks with the Department of Defense told KTAR News 92.3 FM in a statement that the troops would move to Eagle Pass, Texas, a town that lies along the Rio Grande.

The military personnel that will be relocated included police, medical personnel and engineers who will man the ports of entry.

“This support is being provided under existing authorities and in accordance with previously approved requests for support,” the statement read.

“(The Department of Defense) continues to work closely with (Customs and Border Protection) to assess the situation and determine how best to support CBP’s mission needs.”

The migrants were surrounded Wednesday by Mexican authorities in an old factory a short distance from Texas, where they hope to seek asylum but appear to have a faint chance.

The migrants arrived on buses Monday in Piedras Negras, Mexico, across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, Texas.

The caravan is the first in recent months to head toward Texas instead of California.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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