02:02 GMT18 January 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Secretary of Defense James Mattis has signed off on the deployment of US troops to the Mexican border in a support role that will include erecting temporary barriers, transportation and planning to block Central American migrants from entering the United States, the Department of Defense said in a press release on Friday.

    "The department will provide Defense Support to Civil Authorities with planning assistance, engineering support (temporary barriers, barricades, and fencing), fixed and rotary wing aviation support to move CBP [Customs and Border Protection] personnel, medical teams to triage, treat and prepare for commercial transport of patients, command and control facilities, temporary housing for CBP personnel and personal protective equipment for CBP personnel," the release said.

    The Trump administration had earlier announced plans to deploy at least 800 troops on the border — in addition to 2,000 National Guard forces previously deployed — to help block the migrant caravan from Central America that is making its way through Mexico to the United States. US forces will be limited to a support rule because federal law prohibits the military from engaging in civilian law enforcement.

    The Washington Post newspaper reported Friday that US President Donald Trump was considering the possibility of closing his country's southern border to Central American migrants and also denying them the possibility to seek asylum in the United States.

    READ MORE: Migrant Caravan Shows the Crisis Has Been Building in US – Scholar

    In particular, sources told The Washington Post that the White House was considering adopting an executive order suspending the right to seek asylum in the United States for the Central American migrants fleeing prosecution at home. According to the draft order, certain migrants may be declared ineligible for asylum, as it will be "detrimental" to US interests. Sources claimed that if such an order was adopted, it might force migrants to challenge it in US courts.

    Moreover, an anonymous White House official told The Washington Post that Trump's administration was considering a "wide range of administrative, legal and legislative options" to tackle the "Democrat-created" illegal immigration crisis.

    the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) advocacy group said in a press release on Friday that such a move would represent a huge moral failure for the White House and would lead to legal scrutiny.


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    migrant caravan, troops, reinforcement, border, Pentagon, James Mattis, Mexico, US
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