20:38 GMT +317 December 2018
Listen Live
    Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, try to catch a ride on a truck, in Irapuato, Mexico November 12, 2018

    Mexican Authorities Reveal Scale of Migrant Caravan Poised to Cross US Border

    © REUTERS / Go Nakamura
    Latin America
    Get short URL
    3111

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The White House will take all necessary measures to ensure it is able to uphold its new asylum rule preventing migrants from applying for asylum if they illegally enter the United States, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

    "We will take all necessary action to defend the executive branch’s lawful response to the crisis at our southern border," Sanders said in the statement on Tuesday. Earlier on Tuesday, a US judge issued a temporary block to US President Donald Trump's new asylum rule.

    On November 9, Trump signed a proclamation that denied asylum to migrants who enter the United States illegally. Only migrants who enter the United Sates at a port of entry can apply for asylum, the proclamation said.

    The rule was imposed on November 10 and would remain in place for three months or until an agreement is reached allowing the United States to "remove aliens to Mexico." The court's decision will be effective until December 19, according to media reports.

    Sanders also warned a massive number of migrants are threatening to incapacitate the already overwhelmed US immigration system and the judge's decision opens the floodgates for illegal migrants to pour into the United States.

    Trump's executive order was challenged by a number of advocacy groups, including the American Civil liberties Union (ACLU) and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    However, earlier on Tuesday, the DHS and the Justice Department said that it was absolutely lawful for the US federal government to give the benefit of asylum to only certain people in order to control immigration in the national interest.

    Meanwhile, the Mexican Interior Ministry said tuesday that the number of migrants from the caravan currently staying in the vicinity of the Mexican cities of Tijuana and Mexicali, located at the US border, amounted to 5,600 people. According to the ministry, 20.8 tonnes of humanitarian assistance, including food, blankets, mattresses and hygiene items, have already been provided to the migrants, while water purification systems have also been installed.

    READ MORE: Migrant Caravan: Troops to Stay at Mexico Border 'as Long as Necessary' – Trump

    The ministry also specified that around 2,600 migrants were staying near Tijuana, while around 3,000 migrants were staying near Mexicali. They have arrived in the country in a migrant caravan, aspiring to cross into the United States.

    On Monday, US immigration officials suspended all northbound traffic on the US-Mexico border crossing in California to install additional security barriers to prepare for numerous migrants arriving at the border.

    Trump has ordered the US military to deploy troops at the border with Mexico. Pentagon spokesperson Col. Rob Manning said in a statement on Tuesday that the current cost of deploying American active-duty troops to the US-Mexico border in support of immigration enforcement amounts to at least $72 million.

    Manning explained that the estimate only includes the deployment approved on November 19. The eventual total cost may rise and will depend on the total size, duration, and scope of the Pentagon's support for the Department of Homeland Security.

    In turn, twelve US senators urged in a letter to US Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Tueday to justify reinforcement of the country's border and troop deployment.

    'As Secretary of Defense, we urge you to protect the apolitical, non-partisan nature of the US Armed Forces and advocate for military strategy that will protect this country against national security threats," the letter said.

    WATCH: Anti-Caravan Protests Erupt on US-Mexico Border

    Meanwhile, the DHS has briefed the US Senate Judiciary Committee on the potential national security threats posed by the migrant caravan, In particular, the committee was informed that some migrants in the caravan have criminal records while some are considered "special interest aliens," meaning they have been identified as potentially posing a threat to national security.

    Related:

    US Government Infiltrates Migrant Caravan Chat Rooms to Stay Updated – Reports
    Awaiting Migrant Caravan: US Military Installs Barbed Wire on Border With Mexico
    Migrant Caravan: Troops to Stay at Mexico Border 'as Long as Necessary' – Trump
    Migrant Caravan From Honduras Stops Over in Mexico City
    US Has No Plan for Troops to 'Come in Contact' with Migrant Caravan - Dunford
    Tags:
    security, troops, border, migrant caravan, Pentagon, White House, Mexico, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik