With a migrant caravan about 1,000 miles — roughly a week’s traveling distance — from the southern United States border, President Donald Trump continues to talk tough, promising to send as many as 15,000 active-duty troops to guard against their illegal entry.
BREAKING: Trump says number of military troops deployed to US-Mexican border could go as high as 15,000.
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 31, 2018
According to multiple news reports this week, the National Guard troops and U.S. Border Patrol agents will find a group of armed volunteers heading to the border to assist in the effort.
To many Americans living near the border, however, their expected presence will not be welcomed.
The so-called Minutemen are integral in organizing and sending militia members to border states.
Some who support their mission have planned fundraisers to help offset the costs.
“When I look at TV footage of this caravan, I see young, fighting-age men who do not look like they’re starving,” said Monica Marin of Oregon.
Trump offered a similar assessment during comments about the group of migrants earlier this week.
“When you look at that caravan and you look, largely, very, you know, big percentage of men, young, strong, a lot of bad people, a lot of bad people in there, people that are in gangs,” Trump said. “We don’t want them in this country.”
Marin has raised about $4,000 to assist the militia groups and defends their mission against those who see them as armed invaders into border communities.
“We’re trained,” she said. “We’re not hotheads. We’re not out here to shoot people.”
Of course, not everyone sees it that way.
According to KPHO-TV in Phoenix, Arizona resident Clara Godfrey has already taken proactive measures to inform any minutemen in the Arivaca area that they are not allowed on her property.
“I want everybody to be aware that we do not want the militias,” she said.
A resident near the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas said her community goes about life “every day in a peaceful manner” and does not favor the intervention of armed militia members.
“The idea that we could be invaded not by immigrants but by militia groups … is regrettable, and it will end badly,” Marianna Trevino said.
Bryan Melchior, who travels in an armored vehicle, tells locals they have nothing to fear with his presence.
“We are advocates of the Constitution and of freedom of the American way of life and we believe in border security,” he said.
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