White House request to build emergency detention facilities is rejected
The US military has refused a White House request to build migrant detention camps at the Southern Border crossing as thousands march through Mexico toward the United States, according to reports.
The Pentagon’s apparent rejection, which was disclosed to Reuters by unnamed officials, highlights the constant resistance against the Trump administration over using military resources to fortify the border against invasion from illegal immigrants.
President Donald Trump told supporters to “look at what is marching up – that’s an invasion” during a rally ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections.
According to Sky News, last week, the US military announced more than 7,000 troops would go to the border with Mexico as thousands of Central American migrants slowly march together towards the US.
Mexico’s interior ministry estimated at the weekend that there were more than 5,000 migrants, from countries including Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, currently moving through southern Mexico either with the caravan or in smaller groups.
The soldiers are being deployed as part of a mission dubbed Operation Faithful Patriot to “harden” the southern border, supporting the border control and about 2,000 National Guard forces already sent there.
Mr. Trump said last Thursday that US troops should treat rocks thrown by migrants like firearms attacks.
“Consider it a rifle,” he said.
“When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military police, consider it a rifle.”
Later, he told reporters if agents or soldiers “are going to be hit in the face with rocks, we’re going to arrest those people. That doesn’t mean shoot them.”
Immigration is a big election issue in the midterms, and Mr. Trump claimed Democrats encouraged chaos at US borders because it was good politics.
“Democrats want to invite caravan after caravan of illegal aliens into our country,” he said.
A large group of migrants has vowed to push on towards Mexico City as troops began erecting barbed wire fencing.
They have been walking for three weeks and some days demand treks of more than 100 miles (160km).
They reached a gymnasium in Cordoba where they held a vote to cover the 178 miles (285km) to Mexico City on Monday by walking and hitching rides.
Many of the people still with the caravan have now covered more than 800 miles (1,200km) since setting off from Honduras on 13 October.
Calls have grown in recent days for buses to transport scores of people to the Mexican capital for medical treatment, but no buses have arrived.
Some migrants have broken away from the caravan and gone ahead but many feel their chances of getting into the US are better if they go in large numbers.
Mexican forces have been overwhelmed as caravans of thousands of migrants have stormed their southern border with Guatemala.
Meanwhile, NBC and Fox News say they will stop airing President Trump’s campaign advert that featured an immigrant convicted of murder.
CNN had already rejected the ad, declaring it “racist.”
The ad linked Luis Bracamontes, convicted of killing two sheriff’s deputies in California in 2014, to the migrant caravan.