On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had some harsh words for those who insinuated that the deployment of more than 5,000 troops to the border was nothing more than political theater ahead of the midterm elections.
“We don’t do stunts in this department. Thank you,” Mattis told a reporter who posed the question after a Pentagon meeting with Mattis’ South Korean counterpart.
Mattis also added that the deployment was “practical support” for the Department of Homeland Security which was based on on a request from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
This deployment is in response to the massive caravan of migrants that is headed toward the United States southern border. Over the last several weeks, President Trump has stated that the throng of migrants headed to our border pose a national security threat.
This past Friday, Mattis approved the requested assistance from DHS to send troops to help secure the border.
Then on Monday, the Pentagon announced that more than 5,200 active-duty troops would be sent to the border in Texas, Arizona and California as part of Operation Faithful Patriot.
The White House has repeatedly has issued stern warnings to the members of the caravan that they will not be allowed to enter the United States. President Trump vowed earlier this week, that the migrants “are not coming in” and said the administration would build “tent cities” to house asylum-seekers.
“We’re going to have tents, they’re going to be very nice and they’re going to wait and if they don’t get asylum, they get out,” the president said.
Trump also told reporters during the White House press conference that “anywhere between 10 and 15,000 military personnel” could be sent to the border, “on top of Border Patrol, ICE and everybody else at the border.”
Federal law prohibits the military from acting as police which means that they cannot detain, question, seize drugs from smugglers or even have any direct involvement in stopping the caravan.