U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers check pedestrians’ documents before they cross the Paso del Norte International Bridge in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.(Photographer: Jonathan Levinson/Bloomberg)

Trump Plans to Send 800 More Troops to Mexico Border, Source Says

(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration plans to send at least 800 additional troops to the U.S.-Mexico border as the president increasingly focuses attention on illegal immigration ahead of congressional elections next month, said a person familiar with the deliberations.

The Defense Department may issue an order as soon as Thursday to deploy 800 to 1,000 troops, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the action before its announcement.

They would join 2,100 National Guard troops who were previously deployed to perform support duties for Department of Homeland Security personnel.

President Donald Trump said on Twitter earlier Thursday that he is “bringing out the military for this National Emergency” and promised immigrants unlawfully crossing the border “will be stopped!”

Trump has warned of an “onslaught of illegal aliens,” and in rallies he’s highlighted a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants moving through Mexico toward the U.S. border.

In a statement, Navy Captain Bill Speaks, a Defense Department spokesman, said the department is monitoring “events along the Southwest U.S. border, including the status of the migrant caravan heading north through Mexico.” He said the Pentagon expects to receive a formal request for assistance from the Department of Homeland Security and is working to determine the specifics of added support.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.