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Pentagon sends 2,100 more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist migrants and ports

The United States is sending an additional deployment of 1,100 active-duty troops and 1,000 Texas National Guard soldiers to the U.S.-Mexico border, Pentagon officials announced July 17.

The new active-duty troops will arrive in Texas “in the next several weeks” and will provide “aerial surveillance, operational, logistical and administrative support” to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CPB), Pentagon spokesman Maj. Chris Mitchell said in a statement obtained by media including Reuters and Politico.

Some of the 250 new National Guard troops will assist civilian law enforcement authorities at international ports of entry and airports throughout Texas, Mitchell said, and the other 750 will help CPB staff at two “temporary adult migrant holding facilities.” 

“National Guard troops will help secure the southern land border of the United States through September 30” and the “increase in active-duty troops is required due to a shortfall in volunteer National Guard personnel” conducting the same missions, Mitchell said.

The newest troop deployment was authorized by acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Richard V. Spencer July 16. 

The additional troops are the latest deployment in support of President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown, joining the 2,500 active-duty and 2,000 National Guard troops already on the border, for a total force of 6,600 on the U.S.-Mexico border mission.

On June 21, Texas Governor Greg Abbott deployed 1,000 National Guard troops to assist in the migrant crisis and to help alleviate the traffic delays at border ports across the state.

Mexico has also sent thousands of its Guardia Nacional troops to border cities in recent weeks, after President Trump threatened tariffs on Mexican imports. Cities such as Reynosa, Ciudad Juarez and Nuevo Laredo have experienced a large increase of Mexican troops near border crossings.

In Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Mexican freight officials have expressed concerns that military checkpoints are slowing truck crossings down by several hours.

Large numbers of migrants have also made several attempts to rush past security at several international trade bridges in Texas, shutting them down for short periods of time.

Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]