Mayor discusses troops' arrival

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LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - The arrival of the U.S. Army to our border on Saturday afternoon was planned; however, according to the City of Laredo it was unannounced.

Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz says, similar materials have been sent to the Valley, Hidalgo and some parts of Eagle Pass as well.

According to Customs and Border Protection, the materials delivered were the answer to a request sent to the Department of Defense.

Mayor Saenz says this was in preparation in the event that the migrant caravan would come to Texas.

Saenz says this is based on a prior order before the caravan split in Mexico City to California.

Border Patrol Union President Hector Garza says they are thankful for the troops’ arrival.

He says even if the caravan does not show up at the Laredo border, the army’s presence is still needed.

The Border Patrol Union is asking for the installation of concertina wire in several sites along the river.

Mayor Saenz says that although the materials were already here, they will not be set up unless the route of the caravan changes.

So far, about 50 Jersey barriers were unloaded on Saturday and remain at the former import lot of the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge.

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After an announcement made by President Trump to send the U.S. Army to the Mexico border in response to the migrant caravan traveling through Mexico, the soldiers have arrived.

The president spoke to reporters outside the White House on October 31st; nearly two weeks later, the troops arrived in Laredo.

During last week’s City Council meeting, Customs and Border Protection mentioned that it had requested assistance from the Department of Defense.

During the meeting Gregory Alvarez with CBP stated, “DHS sent out that request to DOD for assistance, DOD is working on that request in providing a lot of logistical support for us.”

Congressman Henry Cuellar says the move does not have complete support from other representatives.

President Trump has sent the active military with some of us disagreeing.

There’s already the National Guard helping Border Patrol.

Cuellar says the purpose of the armed forces at the border has a different intent than what it seems.

The congressman says what the president is trying to do is show the American public that the military is out guarding the border; however, they are just going to provide some support services such as setting up barriers in our city.

Cuellar adds that kind of task could be left to the National Guard.

Customs and Border Protection says what has been seen in Rio Grande Valley is what’s planned for other areas.

Customs and Border Protection has released a statement regarding the arrival of the troops saying, “The Jersey barriers, barricades and fencing offloaded by Department of Defense personnel near the former import lot at the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge in Laredo are part of the materials requested by CBP under Operation Secure Line to harden our ports of entry.”