The Latest: Trump undecided on troop levels at border
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):
The Trump administration hasn’t determined how many troops it will seek to have deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border.
That’s according to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Thursday morning, who says: “We’re going to be sending as many troops as we need.”
President Donald Trump signed a memorandum Wednesday clearing the way for the deployment of National Guard troops to the border, but it will ultimately be up to the four border-state governors to finalize the numbers and precise timing.
Nielsen says the administration wants the National Guard’s help providing surveillance along the border and maintenance for border patrol vehicles and aircraft to free up law enforcement assets for securing the border.
Nielsen says she will be speaking again Thursday with California Gov. Jerry Brown about earning his support for the deployment.
President Donald Trump is praising the Mexican government for breaking up a “caravan” of Central American migrants and avoiding “a giant scene” at the U.S. border.
In a Thursday morning tweet, the president credits “the strong immigration laws of Mexico and their willingness to use them.” It comes hours after Trump signed a proclamation directing the deployment of National Guard troops to assist in securing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump has seized on news reports that the migrant group was traveling toward the U.S. Organizers of the migrant group said they never intended to reach the U.S. border.
Trump adds that “Border crossings are at a still UNACCEPTABLE 46 year low.”
Asserting the situation had reached “a point of crisis,” President Donald Trump signed a proclamation directing the deployment of the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border to fight illegal immigration and drug smuggling.
“The lawlessness that continues at our southern border is fundamentally incompatible with the safety, security, and sovereignty of the American people,” Trump wrote Wednesday in a memo authorizing the move, adding that his administration had “no choice but to act.”
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she had been working with governors of the southwest border states to develop agreements on where and how many Guardsmen will be deployed.