According to Politico, the Pentagon is planning to begin a drawdown of troops at the Southern border as soon as this week, now that Donald Trump’s midterm political stunt is over.
Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan said that the 5,800 active-duty troops sent to assist Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) at the U.S.-Mexico border should be home by Christmas.
“Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” Buchanan, who is overseeing the mission from Texas, said.
Buchanan said engineering and logistics troops, which make up the largest parts of the deployment, will begin returning home soon.
According to Politico’s report, some troops will begin leaving the area before the so-called migrant “caravan” arrives at the border.
The news of the troops’ return comes as critics call Trump’s request to send thousands of troops to the border a “political stunt.”
Trump before Election Day stoked anti-immigrant fears over an approaching group of Central American migrants heading towards the Southern border, which he referred to as an “invasion.” He requested the deployment of thousands of troops just before Nov. 6.
Some lawmakers have accused Trump of wasting resources and manpower on the mission, as reports have emerged that the troops are feeling restless and underutilized.
Thousands of participants in the so-called migrant “caravan” over the weekend reached Tijuana, Mexico, where they were met with vast protests. Some of the protesters are echoing Trump’s language, calling the group a danger and an invasion.
The Mayor of Tijuana, Mexico, just stated that “the City is ill-prepared to handle this many migrants, the backlog could last 6 months.” Likewise, the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it. They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico. Go home!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2018
Most of the members of the caravan are reportedly escaping rampant poverty and violence in their home countries.