Pentagon Says Border Troops Will Increase

Migrant caravan takes a break in southern Mexico

Since April about 2,100 National Guardsmen have been along the border providing a similar mission, but the new active duty deployment was triggered by President Trump's remarks last week that he wanted the military to get involved in dealing with the caravan of migrants from Central America.

A caravan of mostly Hondurans, estimated to number between 3,500 and 7,000, who left their country in mid-October are now in southern Mexico.

The Salvadoran caravan departed from San Salvador, where the members gathered to organise, and members told Efe that they meant to head for the border with Guatemala, then enter Mexico and finally travel the 1,000 or so miles north to the southern USA border.

Participants not deterred by President Trump's warnings as the movement gains steam; Griff Jenkins reports from alongside the caravan in Oaxaca, Mexico.

A US official told ABC News that 2,000 active duty troops have already been placed on "prepared to deploy" orders in anticipation of those requests.

The group promoting the caravan, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, wants a meeting with Mexican authorities in the capital city to discuss migrants' rights and how to handle the caravan moving forward.

Donald Trump has sent 5,200 American soldiers to the US-Mexico border in a major escalation of the White House's response to the migrant "caravan" approaching through Mexico.

Mexico authorities said migrants attacked its agents with rocks, glass bottles and fireworks when they broke through a gate on the Mexican end but were pushed back, and some allegedly carried guns and firebombs. We will, if necessary, to increase the number of military.

The troops will deploy first to Texas, followed by Arizona, and then California, O'Shaughnessy said at a news conference at the Department of Homeland Security.

Earlier in the day, members of the caravan strung out along the highway outside the city of Tapanatepec, some waiting for rides while others plodded toward their goal for the day: Niltepec, about 34 road miles (54 kilometers) to the northwest.

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McAleenan said 1,900 asylum-seekers are picked up at USA border crossings a day, many of whom put themselves in the hands of violent human smugglers.

On Monday, he tweeted without providing evidence, "Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border".

"We'll be able to spot and identify groups and rapidly deploy CBP personnel where they are needed", O'Shaughnessy said.

Trump says that the USA was "going to be prepared" and that the migrants are "not coming into our country".

The US President said that those illegal immigrants who enter the United States and request for asylum will not be released as long as their cases will not be considered by the immigration court.

Military personnel are legally prohibited from engaging in immigration enforcement.

On Monday he warned that the military would be waiting.

The troops are expected to perform a wide variety of functions such as transporting supplies for the Border Patrol, but not engage directly with migrants seeking to cross the border from Mexico, officials said. USA officials have told Reuters the support mission would be coordinated by the US military's Northern Command.

The U.S. military has already begun delivering jersey barriers to the southern border in conjunction with the deployment plans.

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