Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) on Sunday said that it was scandalous for President Trump to keep troops at the southern border during Thanksgiving for “no national security reason.”
“Deploying troops to our own border for no national security reason is one of the biggest scandals of this Presidency,” Schatz said in a tweet. “These dedicated, skilled, highly trained men and women will likely miss Thanksgiving w family, are near American cities but eating MREs.”
“Let them go home,” he added.
Deploying troops to our own border for no national security reason is one of the biggest scandals of this Presidency. These dedicated, skilled, highly trained men and women will likely miss Thanksgiving w family, are near American cities but eating MREs. Let them go home.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) 11 November 2018
The Trump administration is on track to send 7,000 active duty troops to the U.S-Mexico border to stay through Dec. 15.
Trump has suggested he may send upwards of 15,000 service members to meet the shrinking caravan of several thousand Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty to seek asylum in the U.S.
A new independent study released this week estimates that the Pentagon could spend between $42 million to $110 million on the deployments, officially named Operation Faithful Patriot.
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) estimates that it would cost between $112 and $143 per troop per day in operation and maintenance costs for the deployment.
Hundreds of National Guard troops were sent to the southern border in May to assist Border Patrol.
The troops were reportedly performing menial tasks like feeding Border Patrol’s horses, shoveling manure and doing maintenance on vehicles.
Army Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday that the active duty troops deployed to the border were “getting training” out of the mission.
“When you look at the mix of the forces going there, it’s logistics and aviation and engineers and I will tell you… they’re getting training out of that,” Esper said.