President Donald Trump claimed that up to 15,000 US troops could be sent to the border to deal with the group of migrants heading toward the US through Mexico.
“As far as the caravan is concerned our military is out, we have about 5,000-8 (thousand), we’ll go up to anywhere between 10 (thousand) and 15,000 military personnel on top of border patrol, ICE and everybody else on the border,” Trump told reporters Wednesday.
The Pentagon has already announced 5,200 active duty troops are being sent to the border and has identified an additional 2,000 that could go. There are currently 2,100 National Guardsmen on duty at the border and an additional 2,000 could be called upon to go if needed.
Shortly after Trump spoke, the Pentagon released a statement saying “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.”
The migrants, who are over 800 miles away from the US, are weeks away from arriving at the border where many reportedly plan to seek asylum.
Trump also added that he is thinking “very seriously” and “immediately” of stopping aid to countries where people in the group of migrants are coming from.
“Nobody’s coming in. We’re not allowing people to come in,” Trump said. “If you look at what happened in Mexico two days ago with the roughness of these people in the second caravan that’s been forming, and also frankly in the first caravan, and now they have one forming in El Salvador. … We are thinking very seriously, immediately stopping aid to those countries because frankly, they’re doing nothing for the American people.”
“Immigration is a very, very big and very dangerous — a really dangerous topic and we’re not gonna allow people to come into our country that don’t have the well being of our country in mind,” Trump added.
Trump also responded to a question on immigration saying, “I’m not fear mongering at all.”