2,000 additional troops being sent to U.S.-Mexico border
Caitlin M. Kenney
Stars and Stripes
More than 2,000 additional troops will deploy to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist Customs and Border Protection personnel with the ongoing immigration crisis, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.
Acting Secretary of Defense Richard Spencer on Tuesday approved a request for assistance by the Department of Homeland Security that funds up to 1,000 Texas National Guard members to assist along the southern border as well as an additional 1,100 active-duty troops in the coming weeks. The guard deployment is approved through Sept. 30 and will fall under the command of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
There are now 2,500 active-duty personnel and 2,000 National Guard members supporting Customs and Border Protection operations along the border, according to the Pentagon.
The active-duty personnel are being called in to back fill the CBP’s Operation Guardian Support mission because of a shortfall in National Guard volunteers, according to the statement. Troops will provide aerial surveillance and operational, logistical and administrative support.
Of the 1,000 Texas National Guard troops, approximately 750 will provide supplemental support to Customs and Border Protection at their temporary adult migrant holding facilities in Donna and Tornillo, Texas, according to the Pentagon. They will assist DHS law enforcement with operational, logistical and administrative support. DHS law enforcement will supervise the migrants, according the statement.
A new 2,500 bed facility for adult migrants is being built in Tornillo, the Washington Post reported last week, and Vice President Mike Pence visited a new facility in Donna on July 12. It was not clear Wednesday whether these are the facilities where troops will be deployed.
Approximately 250 Texas National Guard members will also provide enforcement at designated ports of entry and airports in Texas for border security and to improve the flow of commercial traffic, according to the statement.
Whether Texas guard members are armed and the rules for the use of force that they would follow will be based on their missions, with Abbott making the decision in consultation with CBP, according to the Pentagon.
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