Troops at Border Will Be Departing Soon

Some of them have already accomplished their missions, Army says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2018 12:11 AM CST
In this Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018 photo, members of a US Army engineering brigade place concertina wire around an encampment for personnel near the US-Mexico International bridge in Donna, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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(Newser) – Some of the thousands of troops sent to the US-Mexico border could be on their way home this week while members of the migrant caravan President Trump described as an "invasion" are still arriving. Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, who is overseeing the deployment, tells Politico that some of the 5,800 troops sent to the border will be departing in the coming days because they have already completed their missions, including "hardening" the border with concertina wire and barricades. He says all the troops should be home for Christmas, since the "end date right now is 15 December, and I've got no indications from anybody that we'll go beyond that."

The news that troops are going to be withdrawn—and Trump's relative silence on the issue since the midterm elections—led some critics to accuse the president of exaggerating the threat and misusing the military to influence the elections, the Guardian reports. Sources tell CNN that Trump is expected to change the rules governing use of force on the border mission to allow troops to use "proportional" force to protect Customs and Border Protection officials if migrants become violent. Some 2,000 migrants have arrived in Tijuana in recent days and authorities believe around 3,000 more have arrived in the border city of Mexicali. (Some Tijuana residents gave migrants free food on Sunday, while others joined a protest and chanted "Out" at them.)

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