In an unexpected escalation of tensions along the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. President Donald J. Trump said Thursday, Nov. 22, that he would authorize the use of lethal force, if necessary, by military troops currently stationed along the California, Arizona and Texas borders.

He also said that, if the situation with a mounting caravan of Central American migrants seeking asylum in the United States continues to worsen, he would consider closing the border entirely.

The 5,800 U.S. troops were originally sent to the southwest border in what was deemed a “support” role, but on Wednesday, Nov. 21, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly signed a memo expanding the mission of the soldiers to include the defense of Customs and Border Protection agents.

Currently, there are about 7,000 to 10,000 mostly Central American migrants passing through Mexico toward the United States, mostly California, with the hopes of seeking asylum there.



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