Trump to deploy 160 active duty troops to southern border in response to court rulings and coronavirus

PHOENIX, ARIZONA. – President Donald Trump’s administration will immediately deploy 160 active-duty soldiers to two key cities along the U.S.-Mexico border in response to a series of adverse federal court rulings limiting the implementation of his restrictive border enforcement policies, as well as growing concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Friday that it would deploy 80 active duty troops to San Diego’s San Ysidro border crossing and 80 more to El Paso’s Paso del Norte bridge as early as Saturday to provide “military police support, engineer, and aviation support” to customs officials at those two ports of entry.

The border agency’s announcement emphasized the role that a Feb. 28 ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco factored into their decision to deploy troops to those two cities.

A panel of judges blocked the U.S. government from sending asylum seekers to Mexico for the duration of their proceedings under the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as “Remain in Mexico,” finding that the program was in violation of U.S. immigration laws.

The Paso del Norte International bridge was reopened on Saturday morning after being closed Friday night.
The Paso del Norte International bridge was reopened on Saturday morning after being closed Friday night.

In response, dozens of asylum seekers sent back under MPP congregated at border crossings from Tijuana to Brownsville, Texas, asking to be let into the country. CBP temporarily shut down at least one border crossing in El Paso to keep people from rushing the port of entry.

“CBP Ports of Entry (POEs) are not designed or equipped to handle extremely large groups of travelers arriving all at the same time and temporary closure of a POE is contemplated as an extreme option, as necessary for public safety and border security,” the agency said in a written statement. “Compounded in response to Friday’s (Feb. 28) amassment of large groups in Mexico with the potential to forcibly enter the United States, CBP closed or partially suspended operations at multiple locations in order to maintain safety and security.”

Source: USA Today