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Caravan Reaches Border as Hundreds Begin Effort to Enter US, Troops and Border Agents Prepared to Block 'Illegals'

11-15-2018

More than 1,500 migrants have arrived at the US-Mexico border after a nearly month-long trek through Central America.

Mexican authorities said a group of 357 Central Americans traveling in the caravan arrived in Tijuana Tuesday, and several groups with hundreds of additional people arrived Wednesday-Friday. Thousands more are arriving in the coming days.

Hundreds of them have arrived by bus, flooding the city's crowded shelters.

Some of them immediately went to a stretch of border fence with the United States to celebrate, scaling the fence chanting, "Yes, we could!"

Mexican authorities said they offered to take the migrants to shelters immediately, but they initially refused. Mexico also has offered asylum to them, but many have refused that as well, instead hoping to gain access to the United States.

Border Patrol agents with machine guns are guarding the US side of the border. They're being assisted by 5,800 active duty US troops as well.

An additional 2,100 National Guard troops have also been providing border support since April.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is defending President Trump's decision to use active duty US troops on the border, saying it provides good training for them.

"The eyes of the world right now - certainly all of the Americans - are on you," Mattis told the soldiers. "We're here because of the number of illegals who say they are going to illegally try to cross into our country."

Mattis says the military's border mission fits an historical pattern dating to early in the 20th century. He compares it to a 1916 deployment to counter the cross-border raids by Mexican revolutionary Gen. Francisco "Pancho" Villa.

 

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