The Government of President Joe Biden It will temporarily send about 1,500 more troops to help secure the border with Mexico, a US official told Reuters on Tuesday, as Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador later responded that he respects the decision.
The move is part of preparations for a possible surge in illegal immigration when COVID border restrictions are lifted this month.
The restrictions, known as Title 42and which will be lifted on May 11, allow US authorities to expeditiously deport non-Mexican migrants to Mexico without the possibility of applying for asylum.
“It is part of their (United States) powers, it is an independent, sovereign government, they make those decisions and we respect them,” López Obrador later told reporters, when asked about the military deployment.
The Mexican president said that he will discuss the issue in a meeting with Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Biden’s adviser for National Security, whom he will receive on Tuesday to talk about migration and drug and arms trafficking, as detailed in the same act by the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection, Rosa Rodríguez.
Biden, a Democrat running for re-election in 2024, has dealt with a record number of migrants caught crossing the US-Mexico border illegally since he took office in 2021.
Republicans have criticized Biden for undoing the hardline policies of former Republican President Donald Trump, the current favorite to be the party’s presidential nominee.
The troops would supplement the work of the US Border Patrol, but would not carry out any law enforcement operations, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Instead, they would carry out monitoring and data entry activities on land to support law enforcement officials. Border Patrol, added the official.
The force would add to the ongoing deployment of the National Guard.
Military troops have been used to help secure the border during previous presidential administrations, including Republican George W. Bush, Democrat Barack Obama and Trump, who have deployed thousands of active duty and National Guard soldiers.
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