1100 Troops To Return From US-Mexico Border

(HorizonPost.com) — The Pentagon is removing 1,100 of the active-duty troops it deployed to the southern border in May, the Associated Press reported.

In early May, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered 1,500 troops to the southern border for 90 days to deal with the anticipated surge after the COVID-era Title 42 ended.

Title 42, the Trump-era order that allowed border officials to turn away migrants at the southern border, was lifted on May 11.

The Pentagon said in May that the troops, made up of US Marines and Army, would only stay at the border until August.

The bulk of the troops, 1,100, will leave the southern border on August 8 while the other 400 troops will remain until the end of August, according to a defense official.

The White House emphasized at the time that the troops would not be performing any law enforcement functions and would not interact with the migrants crossing the border.

Instead, the additional military personnel would be on hand for data entry, warehouse support, and other administrative tasks so Customs and Border Protection could focus on enforcement during the anticipated surge.

According to National Guard Bureau chief Gen. Dan Hokanson, the 2,300 National Guard troops currently at the border will not be affected by the removal of the 1,500 active-duty troops. While the National Guard deployment will not be extended, other units will rotate in to replace the troops, according to the AP.

Secretary Austin has tried to get Homeland Security to assume full control of border protection instead of relying on the US military.

As part of Secretary Austin’s previous approval to send National Guard troops to the border until October 1, DHS agreed to work with Congress and the White House to develop a plan for funding shortfalls and providing longer-term staffing, including increasing investments in technology and personnel to address future surges at the border.

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