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As New Caravan Approaches, US Troops Reassigned to Eagle Pass, Texas


FILE - Children observe the movements of the US Border Patrol agents from the Mexican side where the border meets the Pacific Ocean, Tijuana, Mexico.

In advance of another migrant caravan, the U.S. military is repositioning troops from Arizona to the Texas City of Eagle Pass to reinforce ports of entry (POEs) there.

“Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan has authorized the repositioning of approximately 250 active duty military personnel,” Captain Bill Sparks told reporters Wednesday. “This ... includes military police, medical personnel, and engineers who will support hardening of these POEs."

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wrote Tuesday that a caravan of 2,000 migrants is approaching the Texas border. She added that DHS will "take all steps to ensure the safety and security of law enforcement personnel."

The Texas Department of Public Safety has also sent state troopers (police) to Eagle Pass.

“We have sent additional military. We will build a Human Wall if necessary. If we had a real Wall, this would be a non-event!” President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday.

National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed to this report. Some information came from AP.


Pulling out the guard

In the meantime, the governor of New Mexico is moving most of the state’s National Guard troops away from the U.S./Mexico border.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, announced the partial withdrawal Tuesday before Trump's State of the Union address. Her Republican predecessor had deployed National Guard troops in April 2018 after Trump called for the reservist troops to help secure the border.

“New Mexico will not take part in the president's charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops,'' Lujan Grisham said in a statement.

New Mexico has 118 Guard troops at the border. The governor left about 12 in the remote southwestern corner of the state where migrants and asylum seekers have been crossing the border into New Mexico. The governor said the Guard troops would help with humanitarian needs. She also mobilized state police to assist local law enforcement.

The Pentagon announced last week it would send 3,750 more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to put up barbed wire and support the Customs and Border Protection agency. The change boosts the total number of troops to 4,350.

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