In responses to reporters, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Rob Manning said when the Department of Homeland Security made the request for military support, it specifically sought forces to assist with planning; engineering support to construct barriers; aviation support to transport Customs and Border Patrol personnel; medical teams; command and control capabilities and the ability to construct temporary housing for Customs and Border Patrol personnel. The deployment of active-duty soldiers is in addition to roughly 2,100 National Guard troops deployed to the U.S. -Mexico border region since April to support CBP agents under the umbrella of a separate operation...
The Patriots of the Constitution militia put out a call last month for a "full deployment" to make a "stand to secure our border from a mob of migrating immigrants", the Albuquerque Journal reported.
Trump's push to send the military to the border comes ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections and has triggered sharp reactions, with critics calling it a political stunt that misuses United States military resources. "They have violently overrun the Mexican border".
For example, here's Trump on what U.S. troops should do if migrants happen to throw rocks at them. The troops now being deployed to the border are limited to a Title X role, supporting the Customs and Border Patrol mission without engaging in law enforcement duties, which federal law forbids.More news: Man escapes death penalty after admitting killing wife and two daughters
The majority of the forces are now in Texas where 2,600 service members have arrived over the last week, there are 1,100 service members in Arizona and California respectively. The troops laid concertina wire ("barbed wire") along the border near Hidalgo, Texas.
The request was turned down because the Department of Defense felt that active duty troops do not have the authority to conduct that type of mission unless they are granted additional authorities by the President.
Trump said last week he plans to build tents to house migrants, who would be held in those facilities while the US government weighs their asylum request.
Indeed, these four caravans now are traveling inside Mexico, totaling some 12,000 Central American migrants, as a separate Fox News report indicated on Sunday and as other outlets have noted. He denied widespread media reports that the military should engage in the construction of accommodation facilities for migrant families.
The Pentagon has yet to determine the cost of the operation, nor has it identified the account where the funding would come from. The Department of Homeland Security disputes that characterization, and the story has been updated with DHS comment.