There are now 5,800 troops deployed to the southern border, spread across California, Arizona, and Texas.
That total includes 1,500 troops in Southern California, as members of a caravan traveling from Central America to the U.S. have begun arriving in the Mexican city of Tijuana with the hope of gaining entry into the country, three Defense officials told the Washington Examiner.
The group was initially expected to travel the shortest route from southern Mexico to the U.S., which is an 1,100-mile trek to South Texas, near McAllen and Brownsville. The trip from the Mexico-Guatemala border to Tijuana is 2,500 miles longer, more than double that of the route to South Texas. It’s not clear why the group traveled the longer distance.
Media reports from this week have showcased troops in Texas waiting for the migrants to begin arriving south of the Texas border.
Col. Cathy Wilkinson, a spokesperson for U.S. Army North’s Joint Forces Land Component Command, said there are more troops based in Texas because that figure includes the headquarters for the Army North, which is overseeing day-to-day operations for the mission. None of the troops are in New Mexico.
The total number of people migrating as part of multiple caravans from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has fluctuated in recent weeks as more than 3,000 have dropped off to apply for asylum in Mexico instead of going onto the U.S.
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