Top general anticipates more than 5,200 troops might deploy to border

Migrant caravan takes a break in southern Mexico

The massive deployment marks a sharp increase from initial estimates last week, when United States officials said about 800 active-duty troops would head south.

The Defense Department says it's sending 5,200 active duty troops to "harden" the southern border against a migrant caravan making its way through Mexico.

According to The Associated Press, the "migrant caravan" turned down an offer of asylum in Mexico and instead insisted it would continue its relentless trek to smash open the USA border.

Despite suggestions by Trump to Fox News on Monday that tents along the border could be used to house migrants who have applied for asylum, O'Shaughnessy told reporters that the tents, along with building facilities, would only be erected to house CBP personnel. "We're going to put tents up all over the place ... and they're going to wait". "This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!" he added.

"I firmly believe that border security is national security and with that in mind that we are in support of Secretary Nielsen and her efforts to secure the border", the general said.

On Sunday, one migrant died after he was hit with a rubber bullet when Mexican federal police rebuffed another group of migrants who tried to enter the country over the global bridge.

The announcement comes as President Donald Trump has been trying to focus on the caravan just a week before the midterm elections. Around 2,000 National Guard troops have already been deployed to the border, with as many as 5,200 more active-duty troops poised to head that way if needed.

Three helicopters will be deployed and enough barbed wire will be made available to cover 150 miles of the border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, right, speaks as Commander of United States Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command General Terrence John O'Shaughnessy, left, listens during a news conference in Washington, Oct. 29, 2018.

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The American Civil Liberties Union blasted Trump's decision to send troops, calling the move a political one to fuel "his anti-immigrant agenda of fear and division" ahead of the midterms.

A group of migrants from the caravan tried to make their way into Mexico using sticks, rocks and Molotov cocktails, according to authorities.

"The migrant caravan is full of women and children fleeing violence, poverty, and government repression", Markey tweeted Monday. One migrant was killed Sunday night by a head wound, but the cause was unclear. We will, if necessary, to increase the number of military.

Military personnel are legally prohibited from engaging in immigration enforcement.

Another smaller caravan earlier this year numbered only a couple hundred by the time it arrived at the Tijuana-San Diego crossing.

Again, without providing evidence, he said there are "many gang members and some very bad people mixed into the caravan".

Trump said anyone wanting to get into the United States must do so through the legal process. He said border agents will act with the highest respect for the law and will treat people as humanely as possible.

The U.S. military has already begun delivering jersey barriers to the southern border in conjunction with the deployment plans. USA officials have told Reuters the support mission would be coordinated by the US military's Northern Command.

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