In response to the December 27, 2018 request from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan approved Department of Defense assistance to DHS through Sept. 30, 2019. DOD is transitioning its support at the southwestern border from hardening ports of entry to mobile surveillance and detection, as well as concertina wire emplacement between ports of entry.
The Defense Department will continue to provide aviation support, but the announcement was unclear on whether or not members of the DoD would be available to build new sections of border barrier should the president declare a national emergency and request unused DoD funding to do so.
At last report, there were 5,900 active duty military along the border and another 2,100 National Guard troops providing assistance to Homeland Security.
The support comes just in time as another Migrant Mob, this one with a reported 15,000 migrants, has formed in Honduras and is expected to begin its march north towards Southern Mexico on Tuesday. This group isn’t pushing towards the U.S. at this point after learning the fate of the previous migrant group.
Thousands of migrants from the previous wave have been deserted by the coordinators who talked them into taking the 2,000-mile journey only to get left in camps in Tijuana, Mexico while they await the long asylum process. Most won’t be granted asylum once the process is complete.
With this mob hoping to get work and/or benefits in Mexico, Mexicans aren’t as supportive as they were when the mobs were destined for America.
“That work is for Mexicans that need it,” said Anna Pérez from Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico on Facebook. “Opportunistic people who just want to take advantage of the Mexicans.”
And the long treck north may not have made those families any safer than they would have been at home. Tijuana, where many are stuck, is a city with more than 2,000 homicides this year, leaving the Central American migrants almost as vulnerable as they were grappling with the gang violence that caused them to flee their homeland.