On May 2, the White House announced on May 2 that troops would be deployed to the southern border of Texas. This announcement was made just days before the expiration of Title 42, which is scheduled to end on May 11. Southern border states anticipate a surge in illegal immigration due to the upcoming expiration date. How many troops does Biden plan to send? The answer is, sadly 1, 500 troops. This is not enough to deal with this problem.
Over the last two years, the southern border has been hammered by an unprecedented influx of illegal immigrants, leaving border control authorities struggling to keep up with limited resources.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Pentagon Press Secretary Gen. Pat Ryder confirmed that the Pentagon would send 1,500 US military personnel “to supplement” Border Patrol resources for 90 days. Ryder indicated that this might be expanded as needed.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will receive assistance from 1,500 troops. Their primary function will be to provide support in areas where CBP currently lacks the necessary capabilities, such as ground-based detection and monitoring, data entry, and warehouse support. This temporary aid will continue until CBP can address these needs through contracted support.
Ryder stressed that military personnel would not participate directly in law enforcement activities. While the initial wave of troops will be drawn from active-duty personnel, Ryder stated that the Pentagon is considering other options, including possibly drawing from reserves.
Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, said that the decision was made to redirect Border Patrol personnel towards apprehending illegal immigrants who cross the border.
Military personnel conducted similar duties at the border under President Donald Trump. Democrats slammed Trump’s deployment of troops to the border in 2018 as a “politicization” of the military. This time, though, Jean-Pierre told reporters that the deployment was “common practice.”
According to Jean-Pierre, DOD (Department of Defense) personnel have supported Customs and Border Protection at the border for almost two decades.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claimed the extra troops would assist in reducing irregular migration, ensure safe, orderly, and efficient processing, and promptly remove individuals who lack a legal basis to remain in the United States.
Currently, 2,500 troops are stationed along the border in various capacities. The recruitment of 1,500 extra troops, a roughly threefold increase, comes just days before Title 42, a COVID-era immigration law that makes it easier for illegal aliens to be sent away at the border, expires.
DHS also stated that CBP’s investment in new technology and staff would lessen the need for such assistance in the future. Despite an unprecedented influx of illegal immigrants, the administration has long avoided using “crisis” to characterize the situation.
President Joe Biden and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated that the border is secure and under operational control. The decision to send troops to the border comes as Republicans unveil many bills to handle border immigration issues.