“The show of force is having the beneficial side effect of curbing illegal drug trafficking by the notorious Gulf Cartel, according to the report from the Center for Immigration Studies’ Todd Bensman.
“He reported today: ‘Intelligence friends told me the Mexican cartel across the river, CDG, was angered by the U.S. troop deployment because it slowed the pace of drug smuggling and that they blamed the caravan for this. The cartel, I was told, has threatened the migrants to pay steep fees to cross through their territory or go elsewhere, hence the initial moves to Tijuana. No telling whether this is true. I just heard it from sources with access to such information.'”
His report indicated that the initial landing of the Army is a big one. Pictures showed large groups of troops laying razor war and working to secure the border.
From his report:
- New troops and equipment were still rolling into at least two main camps in South Texas the week before Thanksgiving, one at the sleepy Donna Port of Entry and the other at the busier Hidalgo Port of Entry. Tents were going up. Heavy construction equipment and large trucks had been brought in and parked, along with Humvees. Helicopters reconnoitered above the camps or flew past them.
- Although unconfirmed, in the town of Weslaco about 15 miles inland from the river, acres of land cleared, leveled and newly fenced, at least to my mind, bore all the hallmarks of one of the “tent cities” of the sort DHS said would be used for extended detentions of caravanners seeking asylum. The compound was at least 25 acres. It was very freshly cleared and surrounded by fencing with “Warning: military installation” signs posted at intervals while a large abandoned former furniture store nearby was taken over by the army. No tents had been set up here but long rows of port-o-potties could be seen and large stationary CBP outdoor lighting banks had been set up throughout the largely empty interior. The space would be good to store heavy construction equipment and vehicles too.
- Troops began deploying from the Donna and Hidalgo camps further upriver to the Laredo, Texas area for various operations that CBP officials determined would be helpful.
- Most of the troops were not carrying arms, however plenty of Military Policemen carried side arms.