More than 1,500 migrants have recently arrived at a section of the U.S.-Mexico border along Texas that does not have any barriers.
The Central American migrants are camped at an unused maquiladora factory in the Mexican city of Piedra Negras near Eagle Pass, Texas, the Associated Press reported. U.S. agents in riot gear reportedly guarded a bridge connecting the two cities.
President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that he has sent additional U.S. troops to the border and that he will build a “Human Wall” if needed.
“Tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our Southern Border,” Trump tweeted. “We have sent additional military. We will build a Human Wall if necessary. If we had a real Wall, this would be a non-event!”
On Sunday, the Department of Defense announced that an additional 3,750 U.S. forces would be deployed to the border for 90 days.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen called the caravan “lawless” and said the migrants would not be allowed to cross into the United States illegally.
“Approximately 2,000 aliens have arrived in northern Mexico as part of a ‘caravan’ seeking to cross the border into Texas,” Nielsen said in a statement. “Illegal entry will not be tolerated and we stand ready to prevent it.”
“DHS will take all steps to ensure the safety and security of law enforcement personnel on the frontlines,” she added.
In the statement, Nielsen blamed Congress for the caravan and overall illegal immigration.
“Such caravans are the result of Congress’s inexcusable failure to fully fund a needed physical barrier and unwillingness to fix outdated laws that act as an enormous magnet for illegal aliens,” Nielsen said. “This crisis won’t be solved until we have comprehensive border security. Until then, DHS will do everything in its power — with the assistance of federal and state partners — to hold smugglers and traffickers accountable, enforce our laws, and keep American communities safe.”
The Hill reports that some of the migrants were detained by Border Patrol while trying to cross the border illegally at night.
The Mexican governor of the state of Coahuila, Miguel Ángel Riquelme, told the Associated Press that migrants arrived on 49 buses from the cities of Saltillo and Arteaga.
The migrants were given a police and military escort through Mexico and have been provided with food, blankets and mats, wireless access, and public health exams, The Hill reports.
Thousands more migrants in a second caravan are expected to start their journey from Central America through Mexico soon.
A previous caravan arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border between the Mexican city of Tijuana and San Diego which does have barriers in place, including 18-foot bollard fencing and a secondary steel mesh fence. This provoked then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to authorize more than 5,900 troops to be deployed to the border.
Three months ago, I traveled to this section of the border to speak to Border Patrol agents about the importance of barriers. Watch below.