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3 Feb, 2019 20:21

Pentagon to send 3,750 troops to border with Mexico

Pentagon to send 3,750 troops to border with Mexico

The US is sending nearly 4,000 soldiers to its frontier with Mexico for three months to “provide additional support” to border security and customs agencies, the Department of Defense has said.

The new deployment will bolster the numbers of active duty forces at the border to “approximately” 4,350, it added.

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The additional forces are said to be deployed for 90 days, yet a “mobile surveillance capability” will be provided until the end of September, according to the Pentagon. The forces are set to construct new barriers at the border, namely some 150 miles (241km) of barbed wire.

The deployment was approved by Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan back on January 11, according to the statement. 

Active-duty soldiers were first deployed to the southeastern border last October, as a couple of large migrant caravans tried to move into the US through Mexico. The move came just ahead of the midterm elections and was lambasted by Trump’s critics as a publicity stunt.

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The initial deployment saw almost 6,000 soldiers moved to the border, yet the majority of them have returned back to their bases since then.

Battling the illegal immigration and building the wall at the border were among Donald Trump's main campaign promises that faced much from Democrats. The stand-off led to the longest shutdown in US history as Trump insisted on $5.6 billion for his wall and the Democrats-controlled Congress refused to give it.
While the government was reopened last week, there are still no signs of an emerging deal. Congress has three weeks to pass a border security bill, which would have to please Trump enough to get signed. Ending the shutdown, however, Trump signaled he was ready to declare a national emergency and redirect defense funding to the wall construction.

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