The White House announced on Tuesday that it was sending 1,500 active-duty troops to the southern border next week in anticipation of a surge in border crossings when Title 42 ends, the Associated Press reported.
Title 42, the Trump-era policy that allowed border officials to turn away illegal aliens at the southern border due to the pandemic, will come to an end on May 11, bringing a surge of illegals looking to cross into the United States.
According to Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the 1,500 troops, from the Marine Corps and Army, will remain at the border for 90 days after Title 42 ends.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, one reporter challenged press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the plan, pointing out that sending troops to the border is “another example” of President Biden taking a page from former President Trump’s immigration plan. The reporter suggested that this is unusual coming from Biden since he frequently criticizes the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Jean-Pierre downplayed the claim, arguing that using the military at the border is “common practice.” She said military personnel have been supporting Customs and Border Protection for nearly twenty years.
Karine Jean-Pierre added that the 1,500 service members will be not performing any law enforcement functions nor would troops interact with the illegals crossing the border. Instead, the troops will handle data entry, warehouse support, and other administrative tasks so that Customs and Border Protection can focus on border enforcement.
The president’s order to deploy troops at the border coming exactly one week after he officially launched his reelection campaign, was seen by Republicans as an effort by the White House to portray the president as being tough on illegal immigration after spending more than two years doing nothing to stop the crisis.
In a statement to Breitbart News, Republican Senator Tom Cotton called the plan a “publicity stunt” to confuse Americans into believing that the president is taking illegal immigration seriously. Cotton noted that the troops aren’t being sent to help enforce the border but to “process illegal immigrants faster.”