The Trump administration ratcheted up the rhetoric and action on immigration on the eve of the US president’s State of the Union address by sending additional troops to the southern border with Mexico.
In a Twitter post, Donald Trump told Republicans to be prepared to do “whatever is necessary”.
The Pentagon announced on Sunday that an additional 3,750 troops were being sent to the border. “Additional units are being deployed for 90 days, and we will continue to evaluate the force composition required to meet the mission to protect and secure the southern border,” it said in a statement.
About 2,400 active-duty troops are already posted along the US-Mexico border. The additional deployment comes amid a standoff between Trump and Congressional Democrats over funding for a border wall.
Trump has repeatedly threatened to declare a national emergency to find the money for it and hinted that a decision could come after Tuesday’s State of the Union speech.
On Sunday, Trump had tweeted, “With Caravans marching through Mexico and toward our Country, Republicans must be prepared to do whatever is necessary for STRONG Border Security. Dems do nothing.”
Immigration is expected to be one of the five major areas the US president is expected to focus on in his address. Asked by reporters last week about declaring national emergency, he had said that “you’ll see what happens right after” the address.
“It’s a national emergency… you know there have been plenty of national emergencies called. And this really is an invasion of our country by human traffickers,” Trump said in a CBS interview on Sunday.
He has sought $5.7 billion for the wall, a campaign promise that his supporters are pressuring him to deliver on. Negotiations are on with Democrats, who have been firm in their resolve to not yield ground on their refusal to fund the wall. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called it “immoral”.