Biden to Send 1,500 Troops to Mexico Border in Support Roles Ahead of Expected Migrant Surge

President Joe Biden announced plans to send 1,500 troops to the US-Mexico border to serve in support roles ahead of an expected migrant surge once the last Covid-19 border restrictions expire later in May.


President Joe Biden announced plans to send 1,500 troops to the US-Mexico border to serve in support roles ahead of an expected migrant surge once the last Covid-19 border restrictions expire later in May.

  • Active-duty troops will be deployed to the border for 90 days to support Border Patrol, but they will not carry out law enforcement duties. Instead, they will handle administrative and office work so Customs and Border Patrol can focus on their other duties.
  • Troops will “conduct ground-based monitoring, data entry and warehouse support to free up border agents and ‘fill critical capability gaps,’” according to a Pentagon spokesperson.
  • The deployment comes as Title 42, the Trump-era public health policy that has allowed for the relatively quick deportations of migrants since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, is set to expire on May 11.
  • More than 191,000 migrants were encountered at the border in March, a number officials expect will grow substantially once Title 42 ends. One estimate expects illegal crossings will double from recent daily averages to as many as 10,000-11,000 per day.
  • The humanitarian parole program allowing migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to enter the US will continue, US and Mexican authorities announced on Tuesday. Mexico will continue to accept migrants of those four nationalities who illegally cross into the US.
  • Mexico will accept 30,000 migrants per month from those four countries, and under an agreement worked out with the US will also take in up to 100,000 migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The Washington Post noted the Department of Homeland Security vowed to ensure troops “will not interact with migrants.” The DHS statement elaborated, ““DoD personnel have never, and will not, perform law enforcement activities or interact with migrants or other individuals in DHS custody.”
  • The Atlantic’s David A. Graham condemned Biden’s decision as a “Trumplike mistake at the border.” Graham argues Biden and Trump’s immigration policies are less of a “radical break” than other policy differences between the two because “although Biden and Trump view the southern border of the United States differently, they have both wrestled with the same problem of unauthorized migrants crossing the border and noisy public opposition to it.”
  • Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey fiercely criticized what he called Biden’s “militarization of the border” as “unacceptable,” per Politico. “The administration has had over two years to plan for the eventual end of this Trump-era policy in a way that does not compromise our values as a country,” Menendez said. “I have offered them a strategic and comprehensive plan, which they have largely ignored. Trying to score political points or intimidate migrants by sending the military to the border caters to the Republican Party’s xenophobic attacks on our asylum system.”


  • Democrat-turned-Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema blasted Biden spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre’s happy talk about the southern border, according to the New York Post. Sinema told Fox News she “takes offense” at Jean-Pierre’s claim that illegal immigration is “down by more than 90%.” Sinema continued, “Obviously, the border is not secure. Anyone with eyes can see that.”
  • The Commentary Magazine Podcast traced the history behind “Biden’s border bungle” to “liberal good intentions gone wildly awry” dating back to the Obama administration. They argue Obama’s determination to create a legal status for undocumented immigrants is the root of much of the current crisis.
  • On the John Solomon Reports podcast hosted by Just the News, Solomon interviewed Mark Morgan, the border security chief during the Trump administration. As Morgan told Sullivan, Biden’s decision to send troops is “not substantive, it’s all about politics. Because there is a crack, and there’s nothing substantive. So 1500 military personnel, make no mistake, this is simply about resources going down, and they’re only putting those resources down for political objects. It’s not going to change anything.”

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© Dominic Moore, 2023