21:19 GMT18 January 2021
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    On Tuesday, a senior US Administration official said that Washington is evaluating every option on how to respond to the migrant caravan making its way to the US-Mexico border. President Trump, for his part, earlier pledged to dispatch any number of troops to the Mexican border to stop the migrant influx.

    The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton has confirmed on his Twitter page a previous allegation by President Donald Trump that there are criminals in the migrant caravan moving from Honduras to the US southern border via Mexico.

    As for Trump's claim that there are also an array of Middle Easterners in the caravan, DHS only noted that they and other nationalities often try to enter the US through its southern border.

    The DHS remarks came a few days after Trump tweeted that "criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in" the caravan en route to the US border.

    Earlier, the US President said that he was ready to send any number of troops to the border with Mexico to stop thousands of migrants from crossing. Asked by USA Today how many troops he was willing to deploy, Trump replied, "as many as necessary."

    READ MORE: Migrant Caravan is 'Simply a Slow-Motion Invasion' — Political Commentator

    Pentagon spokesperson Col. Rob Manning, for his part, said that the US had not sent additional troops to its border with Mexico after Trump's statement.  Manning confirmed that 2,100 National Guard troops are already stationed along the southern US border.

    Earlier, Trump vowed to cut off US aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala over their failure to stop migrants from leaving their countries to come illegally to the US.

    The US is pressing Mexico to halt the caravan, which the UN estimates includes more than 7,000 asylum-seekers, before the group reaches the US border.

    The organizers of the caravan, which is currently stationed in the city of Tapachula in southern Mexico, reportedly said that they expect to reach the US border in approximately one week.


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    caravan, criminals, border, migrants, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Donald Trump, US
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