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1,500 active-duty troops being sent to southern border ahead of expected migrant surge

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(WASHINGTON) — The Department of Defense plans to send 1,500 additional active-duty troops to support the security mission along the U.S.-Mexico border for a temporary three-month period ahead of an expected surge of migrants with the end of Title 42 restrictions on May 11, according to U.S. officials.

They will join 2,500 National Guard members already there on an active-duty status assisting Border Patrol agents with ground-based detection and monitoring.

The new troops will also help with data entry, and warehouse support.

While some might be armed for self-defense purposes, they will have no direct role in interacting with migrants at the border, according to multiple officials.

“They will not be performing law-enforcement functions or interacting with immigrants or migrants,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday.

The move comes after an executive order from President Joe Biden last week that authorized the secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security and DOD “to order to active duty such units and individual members of the Ready Reserve” to better respond to the “the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States posed by international drug trafficking.”

The 1,500 additional troops will be from the active-duty military, not from the National Guard or reserves, at least initially, according to the official.

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