Trump Administration Orders 1,000 More Troops To U.S.-Mexico Border: 'Mission Has Evolved'

The Pentagon is expected to increase the number of troops stationed at the U.S.-Mexico border to around 6,000 by the start of next month, according to The Washington Post.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior U.S. defense official told the newspaper that the Trump administration planned to deploy around 1,000 additional personnel to the southern border with orders to lay down concertina wire and install detection systems along the border.

The official said that military forces have already installed around 70 miles of concertina wire along the border and focused their efforts on reinforcing designated ports of entry, assisting Customs and Border Protection agents with transportation and providing medical support to migrants and asylum seekers.

The senior defense official said the mission at the southern border "has evolved."

"We are now transitioning to supporting [areas] between the ports of entry," they said. "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."

The additional troops are expected to arrive at the border by March 1. The 6,000 expected to be stationed there come next month include roughly 2,100 National Guard personnel, according to the Post.

Earlier this month, the governors of California and New Mexico ordered the withdrawal of the majority of National Guard members deployed to the border in their states, condemning the deployment as "political theater."

Announcing his plans to join New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in ordering the withdrawal of National Guard troops, California governor Gavin Newsom said "the border 'emergency' is a manufactured crisis."

"This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia or nativism," he said at the time.

In her own statement, Lujan Grisham said New Mexico would "not take part in the president's charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops.

The Trump administration's decision to deploy an additional 1,000 troops comes after President Donald Trump declared a "national emergency" over immigration in an apparent bid to bypass Congress and secure funding for his long-promised border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Democrats have introduced a resolution in the House that seeks to block the U.S. leader's emergency declaration, but the president has vowed to veto it if it passes through Senate. House speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that lawmakers would be holding a vote on Tuesday on the measure.

U.S. Army soldiers deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border walk toward the mess tent on a base near the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge on November 22, 2018 in Donna, Texas. The Trump administration reportedly plans to send an additional 1,000 troops to the border. Tamir Kalifa/Getty