More US troops will be deployed to the Southern border to “construct or upgrade” 160 miles of fending, as well as provide medical care to thousands of migrants arriving from Central America, reports NPR, citing military sources.
The Pentagon will foot the bill out of its discretionary funding for the deployment and fence construction along the California and Arizona borders with Mexico.
Word of the deployment comes amid a heated battle over $5 billion in funding President Trump has demanded for a southern border wall, which is currently at the center of a partial government shutdown.
The move comes as President Trump continues to demand $5 billion from Congress for border security and a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Congressional Democrats oppose the move, and parts of the federal government have been shut down because of the impasse.
The Department of Defense has not been affected by the shutdown. –NPR
The request for more troops to shore up the US-Mexico border was made by the Department of Homeland Security – which will add to the deployment of some 2,300 active duty troops on the border as well as 2,100 National Guard troops. Those deployed will include aviation units and combat engineers.
The original active-duty deployment announced in November was slated to be completed at the end of January, with Guard troops scheduled to remain until September.
According to a senior military official, the new request could include thousands of additional troops, while the installation of new fencing could take months.