A senior Senate Democrat called President Joe Biden’s plans for the southern border “unacceptable” in a blistering statement Tuesday afternoon.
As Title 42 is set to expire, a Trump-era policy put in place which allows the US to deny asylum and immigration claims at the border, the Biden administration is seeking ways to deal with the expected influx of encounters at the southern border.
Tuesday, the Pentagon confirmed it would send 1,500 active-duty troops to the border after sources spoke to CNN about the plan.
“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,” said Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder.
The new batch of troops will join the 2,500 who have been there since October of last year.
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) issued a statement in response blasting the decision.
“There is already a humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere, and deploying military personnel only signals that migrants are a threat that require our nation’s troops to contain,” he said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
“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 went on.
“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.”
While the Pentagon stated the troops will not be in law enforcement roles, Biden signed an executive order last week authorizing the White House to call up active-duty forces to address drug trafficking at the border.
In 2018, former President Donald Trump deployed around 5,000 troops to the border over the objection of Democrats, who accused Trump of misusing the military to rile up his voters.