Some Border Troops Heading Home

The U.S. military is drawing down the number of active-duty troops at the southern border.  About 5,400 troops were deployed to the border this fall to help stop the migrant caravan from Central America that has been approaching the U.S. for weeks.  But a new report in the Army Times says more than 2,000 of those troops are going home in time for the holidays, with about 3,000 to remain.

Curtis Collier with U.S. Border Watch isn't surprised at the drawdown, since a lot of the troops' work is done.  "The fencing is done, the barbed wire is in place and things of that sort," he says.  "The actual enforcement is done by the border patrol anyway, the (troops) are basically supplying support."

For those who are staying, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis recently extended their border deployment through at least January.  But many of them will be moving from Texas to places like Arizona and California, where the migrant caravans have been amassing.  "They are going to slide the forces of troops along border as the caravan slides along the border," says Collier.  "Certainly, (the caravans) are not just going to continue backing up against the border to make it easy on us, they're going to span down and up the border, and west of Texas simply to try and enter the U.S."

For now, the caravans at California and Arizona are mostly being kept at bay, while most of the caravans have avoided the Texas border altogether.  But Collier believes there could be more action at the border in the months ahead.  "Certainly in the early springtime those numbers (of migrants) are going to increase, because that's the time of the year when more people try to enter the country," he says.  "And when those numbers go up, it would not surprise me one bit for the military numbers to increase again."

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