United States to send over 5,000 troops to Mexico border

National Guard Border

He said the more than 5,200 troops now slated to go to Texas, Arizona and California were only the start of a larger deployment and that eventually troops would go to New Mexico as well.

The caravan of 3,500 has shrunk from a peak of about 7,200 migrants a week ago but a second caravan of about 600 had formed and was clashing with federal police on a bridge from Guatemala to Mexico.

Kevin McAleenan, the USA commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, estimated on Monday that the caravan was comprised of about 3,500 migrants.

The escalating rhetoric over the migrants and expected deployments come as the president has been trying to turn the caravans into a key election issue just days before elections that will determine whether Republicans maintain control of Congress.

Trump railed against illegal immigration to win the 2016 presidential election and has seized on the caravan of Central American migrants at campaign rallies in the run-up to next week's vote.

Three U.S. officials say the number of military troops deployed to the southern border in support of the Customs and Border Patrol could be in the thousands. The trip could be twice as long if the migrants head for the Tijuana-San Diego frontier, as another caravan did earlier this year.

Trump railed against illegal immigration to win the 2016 US presidential election and has seized on the caravan of Central American migrants at campaign rallies in the run-up to next week's vote, firing up support for his Republican Party.

That's in addition to the more than 2,000 members of the National Guard already helping at the border now. "If you want to wait, they don't usually get asylum".

More news: Putin invited to visit Washington next year, National Security Adviser Bolton says

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Friday offered temporary work permits, medical care and other benefits to migrants if they agree to register with authorities and remain in the Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, far from the US border.

Additionally, officials were monitoring another group of about 3,000 people that had gathered at a border crossing between Guatemala and Mexico.

Trump says: "We're going to build tent cities". U.S. Transportation Command posted a video on its Facebook page Monday of a C-17 transport plane that it said was delivering Army equipment to the Southwest Border in support of Operation Faithful Patriot. "We are going to hold them, we are going to build tent cities, we are going to build tents all over the place", he said, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Migrants are entitled under both USA and worldwide law to apply for asylum.

He continued his threats on Monday, tweeting, without providing evidence, that, "Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border". The Journal reported that the Pentagon plans to deploy 5,000 troops, mainly military police and engineers.

The caravan remains at least 900 miles from USA territory, so its arrival is not imminent.

"Please go back", he urged them, "you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process".

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