On Friday, multiple outlets reported a Department of Defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said more service members would be deploying along the U.S.-Mexico border by March 1.
According to The Washington Post, 1,000 more personnel will be added, bringing the total force to around 6,000 active-duty and National Guardsmen. They will now be reinforcing and laying concertina wire beyond the points of entry.
“That mission has evolved,” the defense official told reporters. “We are now transitioning to supporting [areas] between the ports of entry. We’re laying down another 140 miles of concertina wire — we’re about 30 percent done with that — as well as providing a ground-based detection and monitoring mission in support of CBP.”
They will also continue providing medical support to migrants and helping transport border patrol via aircraft.
“To clarify, the composition of the more than 5,000 personnel currently on the Southwest Border (and growing to approximately 6,000 by March 1) is comprised of both Active Duty and National Guard personnel,” the Pentagon said in a statement.” Specifically, approximately 2,100 personnel are National Guard and the rest are Active Duty.”
With more troops on the way, the deployment and withdrawal of National Guardsmen has been used to make a statement against President Donald Trump by some border state governors.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said her Guardsmen “will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops. We will deploy our men and women in uniform only where there is a need…”
California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) called President Donald Trump’s characterization of the “emergency” situation at the border a “manufactured crisis” and his Guardsmen “will not be part of this political theater.”