“Everything is on the table” to Halt the Migrant Invasion
- Friday, the Pentagon approved a request for additional troops at the southern border
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Thursday evening that the migrant caravan headed towards the United States “will not be allowed in,” and that they “should be seeking refuge in Mexico.”
“To ignore, basically, refuge and continue, in some cases, to come to the United States raises questions of what their real motives are,” Secretary Nielsen said on TV Thursday.
“If they come here illegally with no legitimate reason to stay, they absolutely will be apprehended and removed immediately,” she said, adding that “everything is on the table to make it very clear that we have a sovereign right to protect our citizens.”
“We do not have any intention right now to shoot at people, but they will be apprehended, however,” she continued. “But I also take my officers and agents, their own personal safety, extraordinarily seriously. They do have the ability, of course, to defend themselves.”
Secretary of Defense James Mattis is expected to issue deployment orders that could move up to 800 troops to the border. According to Nielsen, her department asked the Pentagon to help “bolster our capabilities.”
“We will absolutely not tolerate violence against border patrol in this situation,” Secretary Nielsen said. “These are dedicated men and women risking their lives every day. I will not tolerate Mexicans or anybody else acting in a violent way towards our men and women on the border.”
Friday, the Pentagon approved a request for additional troops at the southern border, likely to total several hundred to help the US Border Patrol, as President Donald Trump seeks to transform fears about immigration and an invasion of Central American migrants into electoral gains in the congressioanl midterms.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signed off on a request for help from the Department of Homeland Security and authorized the military staff to work out details such as the size, composition and estimated cost of the deployments, according to a US official.
General Mattis, who is traveling in the Middle East, is expected to approve the actual deployments after all the details are ironed out, as the planning that has not yet been completed or publicly announced.