The first migrants from Central America reach the US border – and Secretary of Defense James Mattis visits the troops transferred to the region. „We are here for the migrants who are trying to enter our country illegally,“ he said Wednesday in McAllen, Texas. There are currently 2,800 soldiers deployed in the state. Another 1500 were moved to the Arizona border and 1300 to California.
It is the largest military operation on the US border since the Mexican Revolution in the early 20th century. In addition to the soldiers since 2100 also 2100 National Guard at the more than 3000 kilometers long border in use.
However, the soldiers must not arrest illegal immigrants. Above all, they provide logistical support to border guards. „That and only that is our job right now,“ said Mattis.
This means there are now around 800 migrants in the border town opposite the Californian San Diego. They are the vanguard of a group of about 5000 people. Most come from Honduras and flee from the violence of youth gangs and the bitter poverty in their homeland.
Other migrants made their way to Tijuana, 1,200 kilometers away, on buses from Navojoa in the Mexican state of Sonora on Wednesday. Another 2,000 Central Americans are still in Mexico City and about 1,500 are on their way between Oaxaca and Veracruz in the south of the country.
„Trump will not sleep in the evenings laughing“
US President Donald Trump tightened regulations on asylum procedures in the southern US border last week. He ordered that migrants crossing the US border illegally should be denied asylum. In principle, the procedures would only be possible at official border crossings.
The move is highly controversial. Several organizations had previously announced resistance to the courts. Trump had massively campaigned for illegal congressional elections last week with the topic of illegal migration. He spoke of an „invasion“ and heavily overstated the situation. After the election, he barely commented on the migrants.