Several hundred troops are being sent to beef up security at the US’ southern border with Mexico, the Department of Defense said. It comes as a caravan of several thousand migrants, some estimates place it at over 14,000 makes its way north through Mexico.
The US Defence Secretary James Mattis is expected to sign an order sending at least 800 troops to the border in anticipation of the caravan’s arrival, a government source told AP.
Departing crime- and poverty-stricken Honduras two weeks ago, the caravan swelled in number as it approached the US, with the UN estimating it to be 7,000 strong last week. Since crossing into Mexico almost a week ago, the caravan has advanced north to the town of Mapastepec with some of the people in the caravan dropping off.
Mapastepec is still over 1,000 miles from the US, a journey of several weeks for the remaining members. Some of the drop-offs have taken another route to the US, others have stayed in Mexico, and more have turned and gone home, some falling ill and some fearing attacks and harassment by criminals.
President Trump has vowed to stop the caravan since it departed, declaring border security a “national emergency,” and tweeting on Thursday that he is “bringing out the military” to deal with it.