Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to sign an order as early as Thursday sending 800 or more troops to the southern border to support the Border Patrol, a US official said.
He tweeted Thursday that, "Democrat inspired laws make it tough for us to stop people at the border" and said he was using the military to respond to what he called a "National Emergency".
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the troops would be used mainly to provide logistical support including tents, vehicles, and equipment. In support of this goal, each Border Patrol station has assigned representatives maintain positive relationships with landowners to foster communication and transparency regarding border security issues.
The active-duty troops would augment the 2,000 or so National Guardsmen already deployed to support operations on the border, and could come from multiple military bases around the US.
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Trump tweeted Monday that he'd alerted the military that the situation was a "National Emergy" - but the Pentagon said then that it had received no new orders to provide troops for border security. This week, members of the caravan were making their way through a border crossing in southern Mexico, crossing from Guatemala into Ciudad Hidalgo near the Pacific Coast - roughly 1,100 miles from the USA border, via the most direct route to Brownsville, Texas.
Trump has used the caravan to bolster his election-season warnings that the U.S.is being infiltrated by illegal immigrants "pouring across the border", whom he has painted with a sinister brush.
President Donald Trump's administration is sending military troops to secure the southern border as a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants moves north through Mexico.
Numerous migrants are fleeing poverty and insecurity in Honduras, where powerful street gangs rule their turf with brutal violence.
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Candy Guillermo, a 37-year-old migrant in the caravan who had heard about the plan to deploy troops, was surprised she and the children in the group would be considered a threat.
But Nielsen warned: "This caravan can not come to the United States".
Federal law prohibits the use of active-duty service members for law enforcement inside the USA unless specifically authorized by Congress. In May, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told the Los Angeles Times that Border Patrol agents "have seen no benefit" and that the deployment was "a colossal waste of resources".
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