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Top Democrat Criticizes Biden’s Plan To Send More Troops To Border

A top Senate Democrat is assailing a Biden administration plan to send another 1,500 active-duty troops to the southern border, calling it “the militarization of the border” and “unacceptable," Politico reports. “There is already a humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere, and deploying military personnel only signals that migrants are a threat that require our nation’s troops to contain,” said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Nothing could be further from the truth.” He was reacting to the anticipated temporary military border deployment to assist agents ahead of an expected influx of migrants seeking asylum. The move comes as Title 42, the public health law that permits the U.S. to deny asylum and migrations claims for public health reasons, expires May 11. Senior U.S. officials say the end of Title 42 could entice more people seeking a better life to present themselves at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The service members, mainly from Army units, will not have a law enforcement role. They will be armed for self-defense but will be performing monitoring and administrative tasks, freeing up Border Patrol officials to process migrant claims. The additional troops, requested by the Department of Homeland Security, will fill “critical capability gaps,” including detection and monitoring, data entry and warehouse support. They will be there for up to 90 days, after which military reservists or contractors will do the work. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved the request from DHS, sending soldiers to join 2,500 National Guard troops already activated to assist law enforcement at the border. The National Guard troops already at the border are deployed in active-duty status, which means their mission is funded by the federal government and not their respective states. They are assisting border agents with detection and monitoring.


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