As the caravan of Central American migrants continues to make its way toward the southern border of the U.S., the Trump administration is calling in for back-up.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis will soon deploy at least 800 troops to provide "fencing, wall materials, and other technical support" at the border where the migrants will be arriving, CNN reported Thursday. Administration officials told CNN that border patrol agents will still be the ones to actually prevent the migrants from crossing, but troops will provide aid, including tents and medical assistance for the officers there. Already 4,000 members of the National Guard have been authorized to join the efforts at the border, though only about 2,100 are there right now.
The 800 additional troops would reportedly be ready at the border next week, although the caravan of migrants will not be there at that point. The migrants are still about 1,000 miles south of the border, and CBS News reports that they likely won't reach the U.S. until December. These thousands of migrants are coming from a variety of Central American countries, primarily Honduras, with many fleeing poverty and violence at home. More than 1,500 migrants have dropped out of the caravan to seek asylum in Mexico, so it's unclear how many migrants will travel all the way to the U.S. President Trump previously suggested some in the caravan could be "unknown Middle Easterners," but admitted he had no evidence to support this statement. Brendan Morrow