Biden Is Sending 1.5K Troops to Border

But they won't be 'interacting' with migrants, White House says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2023 2:30 PM CDT
Biden Is Sending Active-Duty Troops to the Border
President Joe Biden walks along a stretch of the US-Mexico border in El Paso Texas, Jan. 8, 2023.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

With migrant arrivals expected to surge in the coming weeks, President Biden has ordered 1,500 active-duty troops to the US-Mexico border, though the White House says the military personnel will not be "interacting" with migrants. Officials say that as with previous border deployments, including those under the Trump administration, the troops will serve mainly in administrative and transport roles to free up US Customs and Border Protection personnel for other duties, Fox reports. The troops will supplement 2,500 National Guard personnel already deployed to the border to support law enforcement, reports the New York Times.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that the troops “will not be performing law enforcement functions or interacting with immigrants, or migrants," the AP reports. She said their duties will include data entry and warehouse support. Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said the troops would be deployed for 90 days until CBP "can address these needs through contracted support." The Pentagon says the troops will be armed for self-defense.

The pandemic-era Title 42 public health rule, which allows federal authorities to quickly expel asylum seekers who cross the border without permission, is set to expire on May 11 and administration officials believe there will be a steep rise in attempted crossings, the Times reports. Politico notes that many Democrats protested the Trump administration's deployment of active-duty troops to the border, arguing that the move was politically motivated. (More US-Mexico border stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.