Nearly 5,000 US soldiers posted near Mexico border

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This weekend, USA troops continued to work along the border with Mexico, ostensibly to protect the United States from what President Trump has called an illegal immigrant invasion.

Trump's push to send the military to the border comes ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections and has triggered sharp reactions, with critics calling it a political stunt that misuses USA military resources.

The bulk of that caravan is at a stadium near Mexico City, more than 650 miles away.

Trump said last week he plans to build tents to house migrants, who would be held in those facilities while the US government weighs their asylum request.

"Mexico's trying, but I think maybe they could try a little bit harder", he said. "They're going to wait and if they don't get asylum, they get out", Trump told Fox News. The Department of Homeland Security asked that the Pentagon provide a reserve force that could be called upon to provide "crowd and traffic control" and safeguard Customs and Border Protection personnel at the US- Mexico border.

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US workers are photographed during construction of 32km of the border wall by order of US President Donald Trump on the border between Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico and Santa Teresa, New Mexico state, US, on April 17, 2018.

The Trump administration last week ordered the deployment of thousands of active-duty troops to support Customs and Border Protection Agents in Texas, Arizona and California in response to the caravans.

"There is no plan for them to come in direct contact with migrants or protesters", Manning said.

As of Monday, US officials told Reuters that about 4,800 troops participating in the mission "Operation Faithful Patriot" are near the border.

However, Trump's effort has been embraced by Republicans running in the elections, in which illegal immigration is a top issue.

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