WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – As the end of Title 42 approaches, the Biden administration says an influx of migrants at the border is expected and plans to send troops to the border.
The administration says it will deploy 1,500 troops, who are expected to arrive at the southern border in one week.
“For 90 days, these 1,500 military personnel, who will be sourced from the active-duty component, will fill critical capability gaps,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Gen. Patrick Ryder.
The Pentagon says the active-duty troops heading to the border are only expected to be there to help deal with the end of Title 42.
“These personnel will be performing administrative tasks, like data entry and warehouse support. They will not be performing law enforcement actions or interacting with immigrants,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
Those additional troops on administrative duty will free up U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents for border enforcement purposes as an increase in migrants is expected due to the end of Title 42.
“DHS has asked us for this support, so the ability to rapidly supply support from our active-duty forces is really the key here,” Gen. Ryder said.
It’s possible the active-duty troops could be replaced with reserves or contractors down the line, but the Biden administration says the use of troops isn’t unusual. Officials also say the situation at the border isn’t just tied to the end of Title 42 and that it’s a reflection of the nation’s broken immigration system.
“DOD personnel have been supporting CBP at the border for almost two decades now,” Jean-Pierre said. “This would not be necessary if Congress would act.”
While Republicans and Democrats agree that comprehensive immigration reform is necessary, for decades now, members of Congress have been unable to agree on how to accomplish reform.