Biden administration to send 1,500 active-duty troops to border before lifting Title 42
The troops are expected to be deployed to the border for up to 90 days.
The Biden administration on Tuesday approved the temporary deployment of 1,500 active-duty troops to the southern border to assist the U.S. Border Patrol before the Title 42 COVID-19 immigration restrictions are lifted.
"For 90 days, these 1,500 military personnel will fill critical capability gaps, such as ground-based detection and monitoring, data entry, and warehouse support, until CBP can address these needs through contracted support," Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said.
The service members will be armed for self-defense but will not directly participate in law enforcement operations.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved the deployment at the request of the Department of Homeland Security.
Title 42 allows the U.S. to quickly deport migrants due to precautions against the spread of COVID, but when the measure expires May 11, thousands of additional migrants are expected to attempt to enter the United States.
The service members will join the 2,500 National Guard troops currently assisting at the border.
It comes after President Joe Biden signed an executive order last week giving the administration the authority to call up active-duty forces to respond to drug trafficking.
Ryder also said Monday that the latest deployment is "consistent with other forms of military support to DHS over many years."
Troops have been deployed to the southern U.S. since 2018, when then-President Donald Trump first sent more than 5,000 service members there to address illegal migration concerns, according to Military Times. Trump's deployment started with active duty troops but transitioned to using mobilized National Guard members.