More U.S. troops were sent to the border along the Texas side of the Rio Grande river as three separate migrant caravans continued traveling north through Mexico on Saturday, according to published reports.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers worked alongside the soldiers to place about 1,000 feet of fencing along the river. The barrier was installed in the small town of Hidalgo, under the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge, which crosses into Mexico. Hidalgo is about 250 miles south of San Antonio.
What did he say?
“I noticed all of that beautiful barbed wire going up…” Trump said during a Saturday appearance in Belgrade, Montana. “Barbed wire, used properly, can be a beautiful sight.”
Ahead of the anticipated migrant arrivals, military units are being stationed along the border from Texas to California, the New York Post reported.
The number of troops working under the so-called “Operation Faithful Patriot” could total anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000, according to various reports. The estimated number of migrants seeking entry into the U.S. has ranged from 1,200 up to 4,000. About 7,000 Central Americans reportedly started the journey. But many turned back due to illness and the sheer distance some of them would have to travel — about 1,500 miles on foot.
One of the migrant groups hoped to have bus rides waiting in Mexico City but had to continue walking, according to the report. Some migrants were spotted walking through Sayula in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, about 750 miles from the U.S. border. Mexican officials were reportedly stopping trucks and vans that gave rides to the migrants throughout their journey.
In Veracuz, the governor said in a video report Friday that bus rides would be offered to the country’s capital. He then backpedaled from the offer in a follow-up video, the report states.
Another caravan, this one with an 1,000 to 1,500 people from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, crossed into Mexico last week but was still about 1,000 miles from the U.S. border on Saturday.
A third caravan of about the same size was seen wading across the Suchiate River from Guatemala into Mexico. Mexican officials reportedly told the migrants they would need passports and Visas to cross the bridge over the river.
Several weeks ago, photos showed migrants fighting with police as they tried to get across the same bridge. Officials eventually let groups cross after many migrants “swam, waded or hired small boats,” to get across the river, the New York Post reported.
According to the report, members of the first group have walked about 30 to 40 miles each day and were about 760 miles away from the Rio Grande.