Pentagon balked at U.S. border troops building detention facilities

Army soldiers from Ft. Riley Kansas install protective wire along the Rio Grande at the U.S.-Mexico border on Nov. 2 2018

Modal Trigger Army soldiers from Ft. Riley Kansas install protective wire along the Rio Grande at the U.S.-Mexico border on Nov. 2 2018. Getty Images

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.

Active duty U.S. troops are barred from domestic law enforcement unless there is an emergency, but Trump has repeatedly raised the prospect of having troops enforce the border as he campaigns hard on the dangers of immigration ahead of the midterm elections. But the caravan has become a frequent topic at his rallies leading up to the midterm elections, and the president has also threatened to cut off aid to some Central American countries for failing to stop the migrants. "But we're going to arrest those people quickly and for a long time".

"There is no plan for them to come in direct contact with migrants or protesters", Manning said. "They're going to wait and if they don't get asylum, they get out", Trump told Fox News. There are reports that this deployment could cost upwards of $200 million.

Around 4,800 U.S. soldiers were deployed on Monday (Nov 5) to the border with Mexico, the Pentagon announced, saying it could not give a price tag for the operation Democrats decry as political manoeuvring from President Donald Trump.

The troops heading for the border areas of Texas, Arizona and California are a small fraction of the nation's roughly 1.3 million active-duty service members.

As of this past Thursday, the first 100 active-duty troops arrived at the U.S. It was unclear how many had taken up missions on the border, which will include support tasks like building housing for Customs and Border Protection personnel, and erecting barriers.

"While DHS has discussed the need for potential assistance with force protection of CBP personnel, calling this line of support "law enforcement activities" would be factually inaccurate", the DHS official said.

But, the official noted, that was not expected to be part of Faithful Patriot and the timing of any such future mission was unclear.

The US military has declined a draft request from the Trump administration to build migrant detention facilities as a part of the Mexican border mission, according to US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Reuters. Their mission is to keep caravans of Central Americans out.

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

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