The mayor of Imperial Beach has officially welcomed approximately 800 Marines arriving at a local military base as part of President Trump's response to the migrant caravan in Mexico.
"I have met with the leadership of Naval Base Coronado and the Marines deployed to Imperial Beach and let them know of our support," Mayor Serge Dedina said as part of a city announcement November 9 about the troops' temporary deployment at the Naval Outlying Landing Field, a base near the border used for helicopter training.
The city promised “regular updates about the situation as the details are somewhat fluid and can change quickly.”
The troops are to provide the US Border Patrol with aviation support using planes and helicopters, facilities, temporary housing, planning assistance and medical services, according to the Imperial Beach statement.
President Trump announced the sudden, temporary deployment in late October; the Pentagon has said the number of deployed troops would be 5,200 troops, though Trump has stated it could reach 15,000.
"Imperial Beach has a proud tradition of supporting the men and women that serve and protect our country" Dedina said.
"We are outraged and paying attention," said Enrique Morones of Border Angels, an organization that goes to Imperial Beach on weekends to do humanitarian work with border crossers. "Unauthorized migration to the United States has dropped 40 percent in the last six years, long before Trump. Sending the military to the Mexican-US border is an act of hatred and provocation." Morones said that Trump “only wants to stoke his xenophobic base. We the people are much better than that, love overcomes hate."
Morones added that he is "disappointed in the mayor of IB's support of the militarization of the border."
Immigration has been a thorny issue for the Mayor Dedina in the past. In 2016, Dedina issued a "Welcoming City" proclamation that officially welcomed immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who legally come to Imperial Beach. The mayor and city council later rescinded the proclamation after pressure from a group of residents of Imperial Beach, compared it to a Sanctuary City resolution.