Pentagon to begin drawdown of troops at border: report

The Pentagon is planning to begin a drawdown of troops at the southern border as soon as this week, the Army commander overseeing the mission told Politico on Monday.

Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan told the news outlet that the 5,800 active-duty troops sent to assist Customs and Border Protection at the U.S.-Mexico border should be home by Christmas. 

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"Our end date right now is 15 December, and I've got no indications from anybody that we'll go beyond that," said Buchanan, who is overseeing the mission from Texas.

Buchanan said engineer and logistics troops, which make up the largest parts of the deployment, will begin returning home soon. 

According to Politico's report, some troops will begin leaving the area before the so-called migrant caravan arrives at the border. 

The news of the troops' return comes as critics call President TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE's request to send thousands of troops to the border a "political stunt."

Trump before Election Day stoked fears over an approaching group of Central American migrants heading towards the southern border, which he referred to as an "invasion." He requested the deployment of thousands of troops to the border in a support mission just before Nov. 6.  

Some lawmakers have accused Trump of wasting resources and manpower on the mission, as reports have emerged that the troops are restless and underutilized.

Thousands of participants in the caravan over the weekend reached Tijuana, Mexico, where they were met with vast protests. Some of the protesters are echoing Trump's language, calling the group a danger and an invasion, The Associated Press reported. 

Most of the members of the caravan are reportedly escaping rampant poverty and violence in their home countries.