THE LEAD STORY - CARAVANS, 'CATCH AND RELEASE' AND A CRISIS AT THE BORDER: The Department of Homeland Security is sounding the alarm over what it calls an “unprecedented crisis” at the border, stemming from "catch-and-release loopholes" that allow some illegal immigrants to remain in the country -- as a migrant caravan of almost 4,000 people makes it way toward the U.S. ... “Knowledge of these loopholes has led to a dramatic transformation in the population of those seeking to enter our country illegally,” Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement Wednesday. “Whereas previously, [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] was primarily apprehending single adults, now CBP is experiencing an influx of minors and adults traveling with minors seeking to enter illegally.”
Meanwhile, President Trump warned on Wednesday that the number of U.S. troops deployed to the Mexico border in response to the approach of a caravan containing an estimated 4,000 Central American migrants could go as high as 15,000. Trump told reporters at the White House that “we’ll go up to anywhere between 10 and 15,000 military personnel on top of Border Patrol, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and everybody else at the border.” However, the Pentagon also said its initial estimate was for 7,000 troops at the border. - Reported by Paulina Dedaj (@PaulinaDedaj on Twitter) and Frank Miles
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