President Trump said on Wednesday that he could send up to 15,000 U.S. military troops to the southern border to deal with the horde of mainly military-aged male migrants marching through Mexico to the United States.
“As far as the caravan is concerned, our military is out…we’ll go up to anywhere between 10 and 15,000 military personnel, on top of Border Patrol, ICE and everybody else at the border,” Trump said, according to Reuters.
Earlier this week, the military deployed 5,200 troops to the southern border in response to the approach of a caravan in a mission dubbed ‘Operation Faithful Patriot.’
Here is part two of the train traveling through Arizona heading south.
This baby is LOADED to the hilt‼️🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/58L0ibo7kA
— Kal ▫️ (@RightWingLawMan) October 30, 2018
Later on Wednesday, U.S. Northern Command increased their original estimates saying 7,000 active duty forces would be used for the mission to support Customs and Border Protection personnel.
“The number of troops deployed will change each day as military forces flow into the operating area, but the initial estimate is that the DOD will have more than 7,000 troops supporting DHS across California, Arizona, and Texas,” said a statement from U.S. Northern Command.
Earlier Wednesday, reporters asked Defense Secretary James Mattis if the deployment of active duty troops was a political stunt ahead of the midterms. Mattis said those forces are in support of the Department of Homeland Security “who needs additional military assistance.”
“We don’t do stunts in this department,” Mattis said on Wednesday.