Defense Secretary Approves President Trump's Request for Additional Troops at the Mexico Border

  • Time | by: ROBERT BURNS and JILL COLVIN |
  • 2018-10-26
The Pentagon on Friday approved a request for additional troops at the southern border, likely to total several hundred to help the U.S. Border Patrol as President Donald Trump seeks to transform fears about immigration and a caravan of Central American migrants into electoral gains in the midterms.Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signed off on a request for help from the Department of Homeland Security and authorized the military staff to work out details such as the size, composition and estimated cost of the deployments, according to a U.S. official.

Mattis, who is traveling in the Middle East, is expected to approve the actual deployments after all the details are ironed out, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss planning that has not yet been completed or publicly announced.

The action comes as Trump has spent recent days calling attention to the caravan of Central Americans slowly making their way by foot into southern Mexico, but still more than 1,000 miles from U.S. soil.

Trump, who made fear about immigrants a major theme of his 2016 election campaign, has been eager to make it a top issue heading into the Nov. 6 midterm elections, which will determine control of Congress. The president and senior White House officials have long believed the issue is key to turning out his supporters.

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