Although the Trump administration has justified its massive military deployment to the southern border by alleging that a caravan composed of unarmed men, women and children poses a threat to national security, the Pentagon will not be paying the 5,200 deployed troops like they’re in any danger.
“Members who are deployed in support of the Department of Homeland Security's border mission are not eligible for imminent danger pay,” a Pentagon spokesperson told reporters on Tuesday. Additionally, those troops won’t be getting combat or hostile-fire pay, the Pentagon continued, “as they are not deploying to a combat area, nor are they expected to be subject to hostile fire.” (Meanwhile, U.S. troops are currently eligible for danger pay in unlikely combat areas like the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, Jordan, areas of Greece, and Turkey outside the Turkish straits.)
President Trump recently dismissed a lack of threat posed by unarmed migrants by speculating that they might throw rocks. A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson similarly intimated a threat from the caravan by tweeting—without elaboration or evidence—that some within it “are gang members or have significant criminal histories.”