Trump administration sending 5,200 troops to meet 3,500-person migrant caravan at the border

U.S. military
(Image credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / Getty Images)

The Trump administration is sending even more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border than previously expected, Bloomberg reported Monday.

While Secretary of Defense James Mattis was reportedly ready to deploy about 800 troops to help prevent migrants from unlawfully crossing the border, General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, head of the Northern Command, said in a press briefing Monday that the number would be closer to 5,200.

The military presence will support border patrol officers, he said, providing logistical and medical help. That would mean members of the military will outnumber the estimated 3,500 Central American migrants who are weeks away from reaching the U.S. by foot. "We will not allow a large group to enter the United States in an unsafe and unlawful manner," said Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. The group of 800 troops previously reported has already been deployed, heading to Texas to "harden" the state's southern border.

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The 5,200 will include members of the Army Corps of Engineers, reports The Washington Post, along with troops who specialize in aviation and who can pilot the helicopters that will aid in night-vision tracking of the border. The troops will be deployed by the end of the week. Read more at Bloomberg.

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