What are 5,200 troops going to do at the border? Maybe not much

Troops are not allowed to apprehend immigrants like border agents do. For the most part, they are laying barbed wire barriers and erecting tent facilities for themselves and the Border Patrol. The only armed troops are military police, who are there to protect the encampments where troops are staying. While some troops will wear body armor, they will do so only for self-defense and will not directly interact with immigrants…

One U.S. Customs & Border Protection official said border agents are happy to have support for jobs like rolling out barbed-wire.

“I think they are happy that the military will be doing the work that agents don’t want to do,” said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

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