(Headline USA) President Joe Biden is sending 1,500 active-duty U.S. troops to the southern border ahead of the end of Title 42, which is set to expire next week, according to reports.
“At the request of [the Department of Homeland Security], [the Department of Defense] will provide a temporary increase of an additional 1,500 military personnel, for 90 days, to supplement [Customs and Border Protection] efforts at the border,” a U.S. official said in a statement.
Border officials expect tens of thousands of migrants to rush across the border seeking asylum as soon as the policy, which allowed officials to turn away migrants who do not meet the criteria for asylum, is lifted. Reports indicate that as many as 40,000 migrants are waiting across the border from El Paso, Texas, a crossing hotspot.
The Biden administration said the troops will assist border officials by filling in “critical capability gaps, such as ground-based detection and monitoring, data entry, and warehouse support, until CBP can address these needs through contracted support.”
“They will not be doing any law enforcement work,” the statement added. “DoD personnel have never, and will not, perform law enforcement activities or interact with migrants or other individuals in DHS custody. This support will free up DHS law enforcement personnel to perform their critical law enforcement missions.”
Troops are already limited in what they can do at the border. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 prevents the U.S. military from enforcing domestic laws unless explicitly authorized by Congress.
However, each of the past four administrations has deployed active-duty National Guard troops to the border to enhance security measures.
Migrants on both sides of the border are already overwhelming shelters. In El Paso, more than 200 migrants crammed into one tent in the city’s “Opportunity Center” for the homeless.
The director of the center, John Martin, said the majority of the migrants are from Venezuela.