The US Department of Defense announced on Monday, October 29, that it is preparing to deploy roughly 5000 active duty troops to the southwest US border in the coming days following a request from the Department of Homeland Security to reinforce security in anticipation for the arrival of caravans of migrants currently in Central America. Under Operation Faithful Patriot, soldiers will stage in Arizona, California, and Texas and will join about 2100 National Guardsman currently providing security along the border.
Meanwhile, thousands of migrants clashed with security forces along the Guatemala-Mexico border, resulting in at least one death, after the group, in what is known as the second migrant caravan, forced their way into Mexico. An additional caravan comprised of roughly 300 migrants departed El Salvador on Monday, with plans to join the caravans that departed on October 13 and 21. Heightened security measures are present at border crossing throughout Central America, and reports indicate many buses must verify their passengers do not belong to the caravan before proceeding.
As many as 7000 migrants have joined a total of three caravans in the month of October. Long processing times have led to high tensions and attempts at illegal crossings, as well as violent clashes between migrants and security forces (e.g. stone throwing, use of Molotov cocktails). Soldiers deployed to the US-side of the border will not have law enforcement authority, in accordance with US Federal law, and will primarily serve to provide logistical support to the National Guard.
Individuals in the abovementioned countries are advised to keep abreast of the situation, keep their distance from the caravan, and to avoid land border crossings if possible in the coming days.
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