Troops at Mexico Border – Crisis Escalates

Photo by Scandinavian Backlash on Unsplash

The Pentagon announced on Friday that a significant number of U.S. active-duty soldiers will stay positioned at the U.S.-Mexico border until the beginning of October.

On August 24, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sanctioned a continuation for up to 400 staff members to aid the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Southwest boundary until the end of September 2023. This was conveyed to The Hill by Pentagon representative Lt. Col. Devin Robinson.

Earlier in May, the Biden government had sanctioned the positioning of 1,500 soldiers at the southern frontier to back the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This decision came in anticipation of a projected rise in migrations at the border, coinciding with the lifting of asylum restrictions due to the pandemic, referred to as Title 42.

Following the conclusion of Title 42 on May 12, there was a noticeable decrease in unauthorized border entries, from around 10,000 daily to fewer than 3,000. However, recent figures from the CBP indicate a resurgence to approximately 5,000-6,000 daily crossings.

Of the initially positioned soldiers, approximately 1,100 concluded their assignments by August 8 and returned to their primary stations. Nonetheless, 400 soldiers were slated to stay until the end of August.

The soldiers who remain provide assistance to CBP representatives in areas such as ground surveillance, information recording, and logistical support. However, they are not involved in direct front-line tasks.

A representative from DHS conveyed to The Hill the department’s gratitude for the continued support of 400 Department of Defense staff at the Southwest boundary. The backup provided by these personnel is essential for the CBP to operate efficiently and humanely on the field.