Soldiers arrive at border as migrant caravan pushes north

Trump’s election-eve border mission puts the military in partisan crosshairs

President Trump answers questions from the media on the South Lawn as he departs the White House in Washington D.C. on Friday Nov. 2 2018

The Trump administration discussed using the us military to build facilities to house detained migrants as part of its new mission on the Mexican border but the idea was dropped after the Pentagon expressed doubts about it, USA officials said.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said Friday that SLSCO will begin construction of an 18-foot (5.5-meter) reinforced concrete levee wall in February in the agency's McAllen Station region.

The officials' disclosure notably illustrates a certain tension within the White House over using military resources to step up security at the border against undocumented immigrants, which was highly prioritized in President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

Operation Faithful Patriot aims to block the huge groups of Central American migrants marching on foot toward the United States, where they plan to demand asylum.

The president said last Wednesday that the number of troops deployed could reach 15,000, although the Pentagon put the number at 7,000 for now. "But we're going to arrest those people quickly and for a long time". They're going to be very nice.

"We have our military now at the border", Trump said as the crowd cheered. There are reports that this deployment could cost upwards of $200 million.

The Trump administration last week ordered the deployment of thousands of active-duty troops to support Customs and Border Protection Agents in Texas, Arizona and California in response to the caravans.

Senior military officers have defended the deployment on national security grounds, but the mission - dubbed Operation Faithful Patriot - has been met with scathing criticism from many former military officials.

Active duty USA troops are barred from domestic law enforcement unless there is an emergency, but President Donald Trump has repeatedly raised the prospect of having troops enforce the border as he campaigns hard on the dangers of immigration in the final days before the midterm elections.

However, Trump's effort has been embraced by Republicans running in the elections, in which illegal immigration is a top issue.

Trump's push to send the military to the border comes ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections and has triggered sharp reactions, with critics calling it a political stunt that misuses United States military resources. The administration says it needs to harden border security as the Central American caravan heads north.

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