(VitalNews.org) – The Biden administration is sending 1,500 troops to the border with Mexico to coincide with the end of Title 42 – the law that currently allows the US to expel non-Mexican migrants without the opportunity to seek asylum. This force is in addition to an existing contingent of 2,500 National Guard troops.
According to a Pentagon spokesperson, Brigadier General Pat Ryder, the 90-day military deployment from May 10th will undoubtedly assist the US border patrol. However, rather than participating in law enforcement, the troops will conduct data entry, warehouse support, and ground-based monitoring to free up border agents.
The Texas border city of El Paso has declared a state of emergency as it is expected that more than 35,000 asylum seekers, currently stuck in the Mexican city of Juárez, will stream across the border as soon as Title 42 comes to an end on May 11th.
Republicans have criticized the Biden administration for rolling back the hard-line immigration policies of Donald Trump, which were put in place during the pandemic. However, some immigration activists, including many Democrats, have lambasted the administration for gradually toughening its approach to border security.
Democrat Senator Bob Menendez, chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, said that the decision of the Biden administration to send troops was unacceptable.
He said: “Trying to intimidate migrants or trying to score political points by sending the military to the border caters to Republican xenophobia and merely encourages their unrelenting attacks on our asylum system.”
When questioned about the deployment of US troops in a news conference, the Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said that the US is a sovereign nation – and that Mexico accordingly respects its decisions.
The action of the Biden administration is not without precedent – military troops on active duty have been used at the border on many prior occasions, including during the administrations of Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George W Bush.
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