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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

DoD Approves DHS Request to Deploy 1,500 More Military Personnel to Southwest Border

Defense Department personnel "will be performing non-law enforcement duties such as ground based detection and monitoring, data entry, and warehouse support."

At the request of the Department of Homeland Security, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved a temporary Department of Defense increase of an additional 1,500 military personnel to supplement U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) efforts on the  southwest border, Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Tuesday.

“For 90 days, these 1,500 military personnel will fill critical capability gaps, such as ground-based detection and monitoring, data entry, and warehouse support, until CBP can address these needs through contracted support,” Ryder said. “Military personnel will not directly participate in law enforcement activities. This deployment to the border is consistent with other forms of military support to DHS over many years.”

DHS said in a statement that “in preparation for the return to Title 8 immigration enforcement, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are implementing sweeping measures with our regional partners to reduce irregular migration, ensure safe, orderly, and efficient processing, and promptly remove individuals without a legal basis to remain in the United States.”

“Due to an anticipated increase in migration, DHS requested that the Department of Defense (DoD) augment the 2,500 military personnel currently providing support at the Southwest Border with an additional 1,500 personnel for a period of 90 days,” DHS said.

“DoD personnel will be performing non-law enforcement duties such as ground based detection and monitoring, data entry, and warehouse support. DoD personnel have never, and will not, perform law enforcement activities or interact with migrants or other individuals in DHS custody. This support will free up DHS law enforcement personnel to perform their critical law enforcement missions.”

DHS added that CBP “is investing in technology and personnel to reduce its need for DoD support in coming years, and we continue to call on Congress to support us in this task.”

“While this request is for 90 days, DoD has supported DHS on the border every year since 2006,” the agency added.

Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas plans to travel to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas this week to review CBP and ICE planning and response operations ahead of the lifting of the Title 42 public health order. He will also meet with the DHS workforce, local officials, law enforcement partners, and stakeholders.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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