President Trump told reporters outside the White House on Wednesday that he might deploy “anywhere between 10 and 15,000” service members to the US southern border to stop migrants traveling in a caravan that is still nearly 1,000 miles from the border, from entering the country.
“As far as the caravan is concerned, our military is out. We have about 5,000. We’ll go up to anywhere between 10 and 15,000 military personnel on top of Border Patrol, [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and everybody else at the border,” the president told reporters just two days after he will deploy 5,200 active-duty personnel to the border to assist Border Patrol in responding to the shrinking caravan. Currently, there are 2,100 National Guard helping at the border.
Trump says he plans to deploy "up to 15,000" troops to the southern border to deal with a caravan of migrants that's a fraction of that size.
For context, America has less than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/lwmiaqNudk
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 31, 2018
“Nobody is coming in. We’re not allowing people to come in,” Trump added.
Despite the president’s best efforts at painting members of the caravan as “very dangerous” and “criminals,” many say they plan to seek asylum at legal ports of entry, which is permitted under the law.
The president dismissed the idea that he’s perpetuating fear ahead of the midterms with his heated rhetoric on the caravan.
“No, not fear mongering at all. Immigration is an important subject,” he told reporters Wednesday. “The Democrats have let immigration in our country get out of control with their horrible not allowing us to have any votes to get passage. We need Democrat votes to change the immigration laws. They haven’t given us any votes and I actually think that they will.”
Should trump deploy all 15,000 U.S. service members to the southern border, it would outstrip the number of U.S. service members in Afghanistan, who number 14,000.