Pentagon could send thousands more troops to US-Mexico border

02 Novembre, 2018, 02:45 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Migrant Caravan Turns Down Mexico Asylum

Eager to focus voters on immigration in the lead-up to the midterm elections, U.S. President Donald Trump escalated his threats against a migrant caravan trudging slowly toward the country's border as Pentagon prepared to deploy thousands of U.S. troops to support the border patrol.

Already Monday, some 800 active-duty troops were on their way to Texas to "harden the southern border", said Air Force Gen. Terrance O'Shaughnessy, the chief of U.S. Northern Command.

Hundreds of Central Americans following in the footsteps of a thousands-strong migrant caravan making its way toward the USA border crossed a river from Guatemala into Mexico on Monday, defying a heavy Federal Police presence deployed to patrol that country's southern frontier.

"By the end of the week, we will deploy over 5,200 soldiers to the southwestern border", he said.

Trump tweeted Monday about the caravan of several thousand Central American migrants moving through Mexico, saying no one will be admitted "unless you go through the legal process".

Because the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the USA military from performing law enforcement activities within the United States, these troops will be in support roles only.

Mexico said the previous day that temporary identity numbers had been issued to more than 300 migrants, which would allow them to stay and work in Mexico. "But we are going to try". He added that the country's immigration system makes it hard for the government to expatriate these individuals.

Children of migrants wait for a ride near Tapanatepec, Mexico, as their caravan continues toward the US border, October 29, 2018.

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Earlier in the day, Trump labelled the caravan's effort an "invasion" and declared that the migrants would find the USA military waiting for them.

The US President said that those illegal immigrants who enter the United States and request for asylum will not be released as long as their cases will not be considered by the immigration court. That followed a more violent confrontation on the border bridge over the river Sunday night, when migrants threw rocks and used sticks against Mexico police.

The first group passed through the spot via the river - wading or on rafts - and was advancing through southern Mexico. They will include exactly how many forces are needed. That law bans the use of American military personnel for civilian law enforcement efforts on US soil, outside military installations. On Monday, more than 100 migrants lined up at a gas station parking lot to wait for rides.

There is a legal obligation under global law to hear asylum claims from migrants who have arrived in the U.S. if they say they fear violence in their home countries.

The troops, which are expected to initially be stationed at ports of entry, will be deployed to provide additional security as the so-called "caravan of migrants" pushes toward the US-Mexico border.

They will bring border "personnel exactly where they need to be, regardless of the conditions", he said.

But news reports quote unnamed USA officials as saying the White House is weighing a range of administrative and legal actions on grounds of national security to restrict the ability of migrants to seek asylum.

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