Migrant caravan demands transport as new group enters Mexico

Migrant caravan demands transport as new group enters Mexico

"If you wanna wait, they don't usually get asylum".

US President Donald Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly said more troops are needed to tighten border security, and he has made political capital of the caravan ahead of crucial midterm congressional elections that could see the Democrats regain some degree of power. He has drawn attention to a caravan of migrants that is trekking through Mexico toward the United States as he seeks to fire up support for his Republican party.

The number of people in the first migrant caravan headed toward the US has dwindled to about 4,000 from about 7,000 last week, though a second one was gaining steam and marked by violence.

Several thousand Central American migrants planned to resume their trek through southern Mexico before dawn Monday, while authorities in that country and Guatemala tried to sort out the killing of a migrant at a border crossing.On Sunday, while the band of migrants was resting and reorganizing in Tepanatepec, several hundred in another group more broke through border barriers in the Guatemala town of Tecun Uman just as members of the caravan did more than a week earlier.

Trump says: "We're going to build tent cities".

Terrence O'Shaughnessy, the chief of U.S. Northern Command, told reporters Monday that the deployments, dubbed "Operation Faithful Patriot", already are underway.

Last month, USA agents arrested a record number of migrant family members along the border, and more than half of those taken into custody now are parents with children or minors traveling along, McAleenan said. But there already is a bottleneck of would-be asylum seekers waiting at some USA border crossings to make their claims, some waiting as long as five weeks.

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The president has stepped up his focus on immigration in the days leading up to the midterm elections. All of the active-duty troops are scheduled to be deployed by the end of the week, but some are already in the Rio Grande Valley. The troops expected to be sent to the border will primarily consist of military police and engineers, but the military also reportedly plans to send Marines. The military troops are meant to assist the border patrol, not engage directly with migrants, several officials said. "It's going to be the election of common sense", Trump said at a rally in IL on Saturday night.

"Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border", Trump said.

Trump said the United States would build "tent cities" to house migrants seeking asylum, rather than releasing them while they await court decisions.

The projected US deployment is already roughly the same size as the USA military contingent in Iraq.

USA Today reported that the Department of Defense will deploy 5,000 military personnel to the border, where they are "not expected to conduct law enforcement activities, but instead provide backup support to Border Patrol agents manning the border and be prepared to react if groups of migrants try to storm the border".

The caravan remains at least 900 miles from USA territory, so its arrival is not imminent.

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