WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was "bringing out the military" to protect the US border as a caravan of Central American migrants continued a slow trek through Mexico toward the United States, but provided no details.
Despite raising Trump's ire, thousands of Central American men, women and children seeking to escape violence, poverty and government corruption in their home countries continued their journey toward the distant US border.
Under a full moon early on Thursday, they walked from Mapastepec, close to the Guatemala border in southern Mexico. A town official said there had been 5,300 migrants in Mapastepec on Wednesday night.
"I am bringing out the military for this National Emergency. They will be stopped!" Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to the migrants.
White House and Pentagon officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Trump's comments regarding a military deployment and a national emergency.
On Monday, Trump said he had alerted the Border Patrol and the US military that the migrant caravan was a national emergency.
A Pentagon spokesman said on Monday that while the National Guard troops are supporting Department of Homeland Security personnel on the border, the Defense Department had not been asked to provide additional support.
Trump and his fellow Republicans have sought to make the caravan and immigration major issues ahead of the November 6 US congressional elections in which the party is trying to maintain control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.