The U.S. military confirmed plans on Tuesday to deploy 1,500 active-duty troops to the southern border in preparation of a surge of illegal immigrants expected to pour into the country when Title 42 expires.
Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder made the announcement during a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, saying the 1,500 troops from the Army and Marine Corps will begin to arrive in the region on May 10.
Texas CID special agents said a search of a Webb County junkyard led to the discovery of approximately 50 illegal immigrants hidden inside a Conex container. (Texas DPS)
Their deployment, Ryder added, will be for 90 days, during which time Pentagon officials will look at options to get the military personnel back to their regular duties.
One option, the press secretary noted, would be to replace the active-duty soldiers with members of the National Guard.
There are currently about 2,500 military National Guard members at the border to assist with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations.
Pentagon (Staff / AFP via Getty Images / File)
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved the deployment after the Department of Homeland Security called for help at the border out of concerns that tens of thousands of migrants will pour into the U.S. once Title 42 expires on May 11.
CBP previously warned migrants they will be removed from the country if they enter the U.S. illegally.
The Trump-era public health order was put in place in March 2020.
Title 42 allows for the rapid removal of migrants at the border due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though not everyone who enters illegally is returned to their country via the order. (Jose Luis Gonzalez / File)
Title 42 allows for the rapid removal of migrants at the border due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though not everyone who enters illegally is returned to their country via the order.
In fact, CBP statistics show that about 46% of migrant encounters at the border resulted in expulsion under Title 42.
Migrants who are not deported are placed into immigration removal proceedings and released into the U.S. pending their hearings, which can take years to get through.
The Pentagon’s announcement to replace active-duty troops with reservists and contractors within 90 days of the deployment falls in line with what Texas has been doing since Operation Lone Star launched in March 2021.
Operation Lone Star is a border security initiative that was put in place by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in response to an increase in illegal border crossings through Texas and President Joe Biden’s immigration policies, according to the governor’s office.
The measure deployed Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Abbott reacted to the news on social media.
“Biden says he will deploy 1,500 troops to the border – primarily to do paperwork. And only for 90 days,” the Texas governor said. “This does nothing to stop illegal immigration. I deployed up to 10,000 Texas National Guard to the border to fill the gaps created by Biden’s reckless open border policies.”