By Phil Stewart
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Protection Secretary Jim Mattis has licensed using troops and different army assets on the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. officers stated on Friday, bolstering President Donald Trump’s battle in opposition to migrants trekking towards the US.
The officers, who spoke on situation of anonymity, stated Mattis’ authorization didn’t embrace a particular variety of troops, one thing that may be decided at a later level, and was not itself a “deployment order.”
U.S. officers informed Reuters on Thursday that the Trump administration was contemplating deploying between 800 and 1,000 troops.
The Pentagon didn’t touch upon potential troop numbers however stated Mattis had licensed the army to supply “mission-enhancing capabilities” to U.S. Customs and Border Safety company, together with engineering assist to assist construct short-term limitations and construct short-term housing.
U.S. pilots would additionally present transportation for civilian authorities personnel and medical groups, it stated in an announcement.
Officers stated U.S. troops is not going to be engaged in any legislation enforcement actions, one thing that’s prohibited underneath U.S. legislation, and as a substitute deal with assist roles in areas like infrastructure and logistics.
Trump has hammered away on the challenge of unlawful immigration two weeks forward of congressional elections. Taking goal on the caravan of Central American migrants, Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday he was “bringing out the army for this Nationwide Emergency. They are going to be stopped!”
U.S. Homeland Safety Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stated in an interview with Fox Information Channel on Thursday that her division had requested the Pentagon for assist to bolster its capabilities because it polices the border, together with asking for “some air assist … some logistics, planning, car limitations, engineering.”
The migrants appeared undeterred on Thursday evening as a number of thousand of them bedded down greater than 1,000 miles (1,610 km) from the U.S. border, within the city of Pijijiapan in Mexico’s southern Chiapas state, after mountain climbing hours from their final cease.
Trump and his fellow Republicans have sought to make the caravan and immigration into main points earlier than the Nov. 6 elections, by which Republicans are battling to maintain management of Congress.
Trump pledged in the course of the 2016 presidential race to construct a wall alongside the southern U.S. border with Mexico. However the funding for his signature marketing campaign promise has been gradual to materialize.
In April, annoyed by lack of progress on the wall, Trump ordered the Nationwide Guard to assist safe the border.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Modifying by Bernadette Baum and Susan Thomas)