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Biden Administration Approves Deployment of 1,500 Troops to Southern Border amid Looming Migrant Surge and Title 42 Concerns

The Biden administration has approved the deployment of 1,500 US troops to the southern border amid concerns that tens of thousands of migrants will illegally cross into the country once Title 42 is lifted on May 11. According to two senior officials familiar with the deliberations, the troops will come from various active-duty Army units and will serve for 90 days in mostly administrative and transport roles to free up law enforcement and Border Patrol.

The troop deployment is similar to those ordered by former President Donald Trump, with troops armed for self-defense but not assisting with law enforcement. The Pentagon said the Department of Homeland Security requested the troops, which will arrive as early as May 10. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has warned migrants that illegal entry into the US will result in removal, and the Biden administration is encouraging migrants to use the CBP One app to schedule appointments at points of entry where their asylum claims can be processed.

While the Biden administration has put forth a comprehensive immigration legislation plan, the White House said Tuesday that troops to the border “would not be necessary if Congress would act.” In preparation for the end of Title 42, the Biden administration has developed a new asylum rule that will bar migrants from being eligible to claim asylum if they have crossed into the US illegally, have not scheduled an appointment via the CBP One app, and have not claimed asylum in a country through which they previously passed.

This move has angered some Democrats and immigration activists who claim it is similar to the Trump-era transit ban and that it encroaches on the right of anyone from anywhere in the world to claim asylum at the US border. The expected migrant surge has prompted the administration to work more closely with Mexican authorities and NGO partners and look for alternative removal authorities under Title 8.

Sending troops to the border is likely to anger the left and draw more comparisons of Biden to Trump. However, the deployment is not inconsistent with support to the border going back to the George W. Bush administration, as stated by National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. The troops 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.

The deployment of troops to the border highlights the ongoing challenges of illegal immigration, with no clear solution in sight. The Biden administration’s official position is to encourage legal migration and processing of asylum claims through official channels, but the reality of the government’s response to the migrant crisis shows that not all who enter illegally have been returned via the Title 42 order. As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen whether troops on the border will have a significant impact on stemming the tide of illegal immigration.

By: Mr. WWK


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