21 | FEB | 2019
The Pentagon to deploy 3,750 U.S. forces in the Mexico-US border
US soldiers fire tear gas against Central American migrants - Photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon/REUTERS

The Pentagon to deploy 3,750 U.S. forces in the Mexico-US border

04/02/2019
11:15
Reuters
Mexico City
Doina Chiacu
-A +A
The Pentagon first approved the high-profile deployment of active-duty U.S. troops to the Mexico border in October, before the November congressional elections

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The Pentagon is sending 3,750 additional U.S. forces to the southwest border with Mexico for three months to support border agents, the Department of Defense said on Sunday.

The deployment will raise the total number of active-duty forces supporting Customs and Border Protection agents there to about 4,350, it said.

The Pentagon disclosed the official figure days after a Democratic lawmaker said about 3,500 extra troops would be deployed.

President Donald Trump, who has portrayed the situation at the border as a crisis, was expected to talk about immigration and his proposal for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico during the annual State of the Union address on Tuesday.

The Pentagon first approved the high-profile deployment of active-duty U.S. troops to the Mexico border in October, before the November congressional elections. The move was embraced by Trump’s supporters, including fellow Republicans in Congress.

The Pentagon says the U.S. military will operate mobile surveillance cameras in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, a mission scheduled to run through September 30. Some of the additional troops will also string up 150 more miles of concertina wire.

Acting Defense Secretary, Patrick Shanahan, approved the latest deployment on January 11, according to the statement but a figure was not disclosed until Thursday, when Democratic U.S. Representative Adam Smith, chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, said 3,500 additional troops were being sent to the southern border.

Smith criticized senior Pentagon officials for failing to disclose the information during a hearing before his committee in Congress on the issue just two days earlier.

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