President Donald Trump says he’s planning “tent cities” to house asylum-seeking Central American migrants who are traveling in caravans toward the U.S. Trump says in an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham that if any of the migrants, who are still hundreds of miles away, do make it to the border and apply for asylum, as they’re legally entitled, the U.S. plans to “hold them until such time as their trial takes place.” Trump says: “We’re going to build tent cities. We’re going to put tents up all over the place … and they’re going to wait.” Under current protocol, migrants who clear an initial screening are often released until their cases are decided in immigration court, which can take several years. The Defense Department says it’s sending 5,200 active duty troops to “harden” the southern border against a migrant caravan making its way through Mexico, AP reports.
Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy tells reporters that 800 soldiers were en route on Monday and that the remainder of the troops would be at the southwest border by the end of the week. That’s in addition to the more than 2,000 members of the National Guard already helping at the border now. Officials say the troops will provide “mission enhancing capabilities” and will be armed. The announcement comes as President Donald Trump has been trying to focus on the caravan just a week before the midterm elections. The migrant caravan has been moving slowly north from Central America and its numbers have been dwindling.