Trump to give troops he sent to the border new ‘force protection mandate’ to step in if Border Patrol agents are attacked by migrants

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
By Paul Martin

Troops at the border do not have permission to use force to aid Border Patrol agents if they come under attack
Trump is expected to change that to allow soldiers and Marines who have been deployed to come to the help of agents
The whole deployment has been called a political stunt designed to shore up the Republican vote before the midterm elections earlier this month

DAILYMAIL.COM
20 November 2018

President Donald Trump is likely to give U.S. troops authority to protect immigration agents stationed along the U.S. border with Mexico if they come under threat from migrants seeking to cross into the United States, a U.S. official said.

Ahead of U.S. congressional elections earlier this month, Trump denounced the approach of a caravan of migrants as an ‘invasion’ that threatened American national security, and he sent thousands of U.S. troops to the border to help secure it.

Currently, the troops do not have authority to protect U.S. Customs and Border Patrol personnel – what is known as a ‘force protection mandate’. The new authority could be announced on Tuesday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

U.S. officials briefly closed the busiest border crossing from Mexico early on Monday to add concrete barricades and razor wire amid concerns some of the thousands of Central American migrants at the border could try to rush the crossing.

Northbound lanes at the San Ysidro crossing from Tijuana to San Diego, California, were temporarily closed ‘to position additional port hardening materials,’ a U.S. CBP spokesperson said.

A Department of Homeland Security official, who requested anonymity, told reporters on a conference call that U.S. officials had heard reports some migrants were intending to run through border crossings into California.

The closing was rare for the station, which is one of the busiest border crossings in the world with tens of thousands Mexicans heading every day into the United States to work or study.

‘Today was a lost day of work. I already called my boss to tell her that everything was closed and I did not know what time I would be able to get in,’ said Maria Gomez, a Mexican woman who crosses the border every day for work. ‘I cannot believe this is happening.’

Trump had remained mostly silent about the caravan since the Nov. 6 vote, but on Monday he posted a photo on Twitter showing a fence that runs from the beach in Tijuana into the ocean now covered with razor wire.

Critics charged that his talk of a migrant ‘invasion’ was an effort to rouse his political base ahead of the elections.

Officials have stressed that the 5,900 active-duty U.S. troops on the border are not there in a law enforcement capacity and that there are no plans for them to interact with migrants.

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