Mattis to order 800 troops to US-Mexico border: reports

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisLawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Trump called top military brass 'a bunch of dopes and babies' in 2017: book MORE is expected to sign an order sending up to 800 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border amid President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE’s ongoing focus on a migrant caravan traveling to the United States, according to multiple reports.

Citing unidentified U.S. officials, reports said Mattis could sign the order as soon as Thursday to send hundreds of U.S. service members to help with logistical support such as providing tents and fencing.

A spokesman for the Pentagon later on Thursday said it expected to get a request for assistance from the Department of Homeland Security.

"The Department of Defense continues to monitor events along the Southwest U.S. border, including the status of the migrant caravan heading north through Mexico," Pentagon spokesperson Capt. Bill Speaks said in the statement. 
"We anticipate receiving a request for assistance (RFA) from the Department of Homeland Security and are currently working with DHS to determine the specifics of our support to Customs and Border Protection (CBP)."
The Pentagon previously had said it had received no official request from the White House to send more troops to the border.

Since last week, Trump has said he plans to bring in the military to reinforce the southern border as a group of thousands of migrants makes it from Central America. 

The caravan is currently traversing Mexico, and Trump administration officials have vowed not to allow the group to cross into the United States.

On Thursday morning, Trump tweeted that he is “bringing out the military for this National Emergency.”

“They will be stopped!” he added.

In April, Trump directed Mattis to send 4,000 National Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexico border amid frustrations at the lack of progress on his proposed wall.

About 2,100 Guardsmen are currently providing technical assistance at the border.

This story was updated at 5:21 p.m.