Senior border patrol official says Trump troop surge has been helpful

A chief law enforcement officer for U.S. Border Patrol operations on Monday said that the recent surge in troops at the U.S.-Mexican border have been helpful as Central American migrants make their way to the border. 

"It was absolutely helpful. We have had a strong history of working very closely with the Department of Defense," Chief Brian Hastings told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton on "Rising." 

"Various operations, Operation Jump Start, Operation Phalanx, and several others; during this iteration, primarily they're helping us with the hardening of the courts to be able to provide the infrastructure around the port of entry to prevent the mass rushes that we saw yesterday," he continued. 

"They're also helping us with providing mobility through air support to be able to move our agents from one location to another operationally," he said. "As of last week, they're also assisting us with force protection as well by providing support behind the Border Patrol, state and local law enforcement lines." 

The Trump administration has deployed roughly 5,800 troops along the southern border as the so-called migrant caravan of thousands of migrants from Central America makes its way to the U.S. southern border. 

The White House has also requested the presence of thousands more service members along the border, which would cost an estimated $210 million, according to the Pentagon.  

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE has threatened to shut down the border altogether if Mexico does not hold the migrants while the U.S. processes their asylum claims. 

Border patrol agents sprayed tear gas at migrants trying to breach a southern border crossing between Tijuana and California. 

The incident took place after the U.S. shut down pedestrian crossings at the busy San Ysidro port of entry.  

— Julia Manchester