WASHINGTON (AP) – A U.S. official says Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to sign an order as early as Thursday sending 800 or more troops to the southern border to support the Border Patrol.
Mattis is responding to a request from President Donald Trump, who says he’s “bringing out the military” to address what he’s calling a national emergency at the border.
The U.S. official was not authorized to speak publicly because the details had not yet been finalized and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The additional troops are to provide what one official described as logistical support to the Border Patrol. This would include a variety of things such as vehicles, tents and equipment.
There already are about 2,000 National Guard troops assisting at the border under a previous Pentagon arrangement.
Trump says he’s ‘bringing out the military’ at border
The comments in Thursday’s tweet come as thousands of Central American migrants continue their caravan trek through Mexico toward the hoped-for, but still far-distant U.S. border.
Trump in his tweet is blaming Democrats for laws he says make it too hard to stop people at the border. He says those trying to enter the U.S. “will be stopped!”
Trump tweeted Monday that he’d alerted the military that the situation was a “National Emergy” – but the Pentagon said then that they’d received no new orders to provide troops for border security.
Trump told a rally crowd in Wisconsin on Wednesday that the military was “all set.”