The U.S. government is tracking three separate migrant caravans, one of them estimated to be more than 12,000 people in size, heading north toward the U.S., a top Pentagon official said Tuesday.
Defense Undersecretary for Policy John Rood told Congress that those caravans are one reason why the presence of active-duty troops is still needed on the U.S.-Mexico border.
He also said military medical personnel are helping with the latest border problem, dealing with an increase in sick migrants showing up at the border and in need of immediate attention.
Some 2,300 active-duty troops are still on the border, down from 5,900 who were initially ordered deployed in late October, ahead of previous caravans. That’s in addition to about 2,000 National Guard troops who have been on the border since earlier last year.