By Daniel Stefanski |
The Biden Administration is attempting to mitigate unfavorable headlines at the southern border once again.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) confirmed a report that more troops were headed to the U.S.-Mexico border. A statement attributed to Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder read, “At the request of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Austin approved a temporary Department of Defense (DoD) increase of an additional 1,500 military personnel to supplement U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) efforts on the U.S. Southwest Border.”
The news from the Pentagon came just days before a COVID-era border policy, Title 42, is scheduled to end. Title 42 was an action “derived under U.S. Code Title 42, Section 265” …to suspend “entries and imports from designated places to prevent spread of communicable diseases.” According to a memorandum from then-U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney S. Scott, “while operating under this authority, USBP will use Title 42 authority to immediately expel any individual encountered attempting to enter the United States in violation of travel restrictions.”
Experts and border officials have long predicted disastrous consequences for the end of Title 42, and recent numbers have confirmed those warnings. On May 1, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz tweeted the news that there were 22,220 apprehensions at the southern border in the past 72 hours.
Brig. Gen. Ryder’s announcement gave insight into the assigned duties of the additional troops, stating, “For 90 days, these 1,500 military personnel 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. Military personnel will not directly participate in law enforcement activities. This deployment to the border is consistent with other forms of military support to DHS over many years.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott had an entirely different perspective on the DOD’s move, tweeting, “Biden says he will deploy 1,500 troops to the border – primarily to do paperwork. And only for 90 days. This does nothing to stop illegal immigration. I deployed up to 10,000 Texas National Guard to the border to fill the gaps created by Biden’s reckless open border policies.”
Over the past few weeks, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs does not appear to have proactively issued statements about the end of Title 42, the influx of troops to the border, or the expected increase in illegal immigration. Her last Twitter communication about border security may have been on April 24 when she touted her meeting with Sonora Governor Alfonso Durazo, writing,
“I had a productive conversation with Governor Alfonso Durazo on expanding partnerships in trade, commerce, and infrastructure, and opening lines of communication between our governments as we come closer to the expiration of Title 42. We will use all the tools and resources available to manage the effects of lifting Title 42, including our partnerships in Sonora that support the Sonoran mega-region and create lasting and meaningful cross-border collaboration.”
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.