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Biden administration aims to send 1,500 troops to southern border

May 02, 2023

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The Biden administration is sending 1,500 troops to the southern border ahead of the end of Title 42, the pandemic order which allows for the near immediate deportation of immigrants on public health grounds. The request was made by the Department of Homeland Security and approved by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The troops will serve only in administrative and transportation roles to free up Border Patrol agents and other members of law enforcement for work in the field. They will come from multiple Army units and be armed only for self-defense. These troops are in addition to the 2,500 National Guardsmen who are already deployed.

Officials said the troops will work on detection and monitoring, data entry and warehouse support. This is a very similar role to the National Guard troops who are there on active duty. The troops will remain at the border for 90 days, after which time reservists and contractors will take over. 

Immigration is expected to surge after the end of Title 42 on May 11. The Department of Homeland Security has been trying to prepare for months. But there are thousands of immigrants waiting in border towns in Mexico and thousands more making their way north. 

“High encounters will place a strain on our entire system, including our dedicated and heroic workforce and our communities,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at a press conference announcing new measures to reduce illegal immigration ahead of the end of Title 42. 

The mayor of El Paso, Texas, Oscar Leeser, D, said he traveled to Juarez, Mexico, and expects 10,000-12,000 immigrants to cross on May 11 and 12.

Mayor Leeser said misinformation has been spreading south of the border leading some to believe they will be able to enter the country without documentation. That is not true, according to federal, state and local officials. 

“We do expect that encounters at our southern border will increasing [sic], as smugglers are seeking to take advantage of this change and already are hard at work spreading disinformation that the border will be open after that,” Mayorkas said. “The smuggler’s propaganda is false. Let me be clear: Our border is not open and will not be open after May 11.”

The news was first reported by Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin, and later shared with other outlets including The Associated Press. 

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