Protection Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday pushed again on criticisms that the deployment of greater than 5,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border was a political stunt from the Trump administration earlier than the midterm elections.
“We don’t do stunts on this division,” Mattis informed reporters, in accordance with a Pentagon pool report.
Mattis mentioned that the navy help to the Division of Homeland Safety, which oversees Customs and Border Patrol, “is sensible help based mostly on the request from the commissioner of customs and border police.”
“We do that following storms, we do that in help of the Division of Homeland Safety. It is a completely different facet of it, however that is what we’re doing,” Mattis mentioned after assembly with the South Korean protection minister on the Pentagon.
President Trump final week ordered the Pentagon to maneuver ahead on the troop deployment in response to a shrinking caravan of a number of thousand Central People.
The president previously month has more and more portrayed the group as a menace to nationwide safety, tweeting on Wednesday that the caravan included “some very unhealthy thugs and gang members.”
The caravan remains to be a number of weeks away from reaching the border, however with the midterm elections on Tuesday and the management of the Home up for grabs, Trump previously month has upped his rhetoric on the specter of unlawful immigration to the US.
Mattis on Friday permitted a request for help from DHS to ship the troops.
The Pentagon then announced on Monday that greater than 5,200 lively responsibility troops could be despatched to the border in Texas, Arizona and California as a part of Operation Trustworthy Patriot.
A day later, U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Protection Command head Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy – who oversees the hassle – mentioned that quantity is anticipated to rise.
The Pentagon has not mentioned what number of troops it’s seeking to in the end ship, nor given a price estimate for the operation.
As of Wednesday the Pentagon had recognized about 7,000 active-duty troops who could possibly be deployed to the border if wanted, Reuters reported.