The migrant caravan heading toward the U.S.-Mexico border has reportedly swelled to roughly 8,000 Central Americans who are plowing ahead and demanding entry into the United States. President Donald Trump has begged and pleaded for the caravan to turn around and even threatened to pull U.S. aid if the Central American governments don’t do more to stop the group.
The migrants also have refused asylum in and assistance from Mexico, determined to enter the United States. On Monday, the Pentagon sent a major warning shot that the United States will do everything necessary to secure the southern border.
Border Being Secured
While speaking to the media on Monday, the Pentagon announced that more than 5,200 troops will be sent to the border between the United States and Mexico in anticipation of the migrant caravan. That figure is a substantial increase from initial reports, which stated that the government was planning to send roughly 800 troops to the border.
The mission, which the Pentagon has named Operation Faithful Patriot, will entail the troops working alongside customs and border patrol agents to ensure that the ports of entry are secured. While the soldiers will be armed, it is highly unlikely they will be permitted to offer much more than their presence and logistical support. As well as helping with medical emergencies, the deployed troops will be assisting in setting up temporary buildings and providing scout reports.
The 5,200 troops will be dispersed across Texas, Arizona, and California by the end of the week. The troops are expected to remain until mid-December, another major sign that the Trump Administration is committed long-term to combating illegal immigration and sealing the border.
When asked by reporters if the Pentagon was using the mission for “political purposes,” it ended about as well as one might imagine.
Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Kevin McAleenan said that the troops “are in fact deploying with weapons,” and that they will be working with federal immigration agents to ensure the border is fully protected. He argued that the caravan “forcefully” crashed through barriers in Central America, and that the troops will be prepared and ready to defend the border.
For perspective, the 5,200 troops deployed are greater than those currently stationed in Iraq and Syria. It would also be roughly half of the total number of U.S. troops positioned in Afghanistan.
Will Not Be Allowed to Stay
“Let me be clear: Walls work.”
While many in the media bloviate about how Trump’s and Republicans’ “rhetoric” is to blame for the caravan, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen made it abundantly clear that the caravan of migrants will not be allowed to stay in the United States. During an interview Friday on Fox News, Nielsen told host Martha MacCallum that “border walls work” and that the migrants are not going to “be allowed to stay.”
“Let me be clear: Walls work,” she said. Nielsen also noted that Mexico had offered the migrants asylum and resources, but caravan members refused the offer and are doubling-down on demanding the United States allow them free entry. “If they come here illegally with no legitimate reason to stay, they absolutely will be apprehended and removed immediately. This caravan cannot come to the United States. They will not be allowed in. They will not be allowed to stay,” Nielsen said.
Speculation is rife that money and power within U.S. borders are the driving forces behind the caravan. Over the weekend, Vice President Mike Pence revealed that leftist organizations are funding this operation, which he described as a mission aimed at ignoring America’s authority. When the vice president of the United States makes such a powerful supposition, it carries serious weight.
“What the president of Honduras told me is that the caravan was organized by leftist organizations, political activists within Honduras, and he said it was being funded by outside groups and even from Venezuela. So the American people, I think, see through this – they understand this is not a spontaneous caravan of vulnerable people,” Pence said.
Americans Want the Border Defended
While top Democrats argue America’s response should be “welcoming” and “tolerant,” they would be wise to remember that we are a nation of laws.
Allowing the caravan to sidestep federal law and freely walk into the United States goes against everything America stands for and was founded upon. And, perhaps more importantly, it’s grossly unfair to legal immigrants who did it the correct and lawful way and have been waiting their turn to become a U.S. citizen.
We know most Americans want this caravan stopped. And the Pentagon is sending a clear message that the border will be protected if and when the caravan arrives.