The Pentagon is pulling 1,100 troops from the US-Mexico border

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

In preparation for the end of Title 42, the Pentagon deployed 1,500 active duty troops temporarily to the Texas-Mexico border. Now 1,100 troops are being pulled from the border mission by August 8. The remaining 400 troops will stay until August 31. The deployment was only for 90 days.


At the time of the deployment, the concern was that when Title 42 ended in May, the border would be flooded with illegal immigrants at an even greater level than it was when Title 42 was in effect. The worst fears were not realized, so that was a good thing. One thought has been that the cartels and human smugglers are re-grouping and the unsustainably large numbers of illegal immigrants will start up again soon. It may have already started.

The Biden administration likes to boast that their new immigration enforcement strategy is working. “Only” 99,545 apprehensions were reported in June. However, in July, that number increased to 130,000 apprehensions recorded. Authorities allowed an additional 50,000 migrants to cross into the United States in July through Biden’s program that allows asylum seekers to schedule appointments at U.S. ports of entry using the CBP One mobile app. The spike in illegal immigrants was especially notable in the deserts of southern Arizona. Daytime temperatures are often higher than 110 degrees. In July, U.S. Border Patrol agents made about 40,000 arrests in July. That is the highest one-month total in the Tucson sector in 15 years.

Yet, the troops are going home this month. Will they be replaced by other troops? The number of illegal crossings may have gone down for a month or two but that little breather appears to be over.

The active troops were never going to take front-line positions on the border or have interactions with the migrants. The troops were sent to do administrative work like data entry or to be warehouse support. This was to free up Border Patrol agents so they could go back out into the field.


Surely the Pentagon can find people who can do those administrative jobs so Border Patrol agents could keep doing their jobs on the border. That is what they are trained to do, not to sit at a desk and file paperwork. What a waste of training.

Biden officials say the U.S. border will remain under strain at a time when international migration is at record levels. They expressed guarded optimism after seeing a sharp drop in illegal entries — roughly 70 percent — in the weeks after the new border measures took effect on May 12.

Border apprehensions dropped 42 percent in June, the first full month that Biden’s new measures were in effect.

But those gains were nearly erased last month. Large groups of migrants from Mexico, Central America and Africa have been crossing in recent weeks through the deserts west of Nogales, Ariz., to surrender to U.S. agents, straining CBP holding facilities and transportation capacity.

Smuggling cartels have shifted traffic to those areas because they know that there is limited detention space available and the illegal immigrants who cross into Arizona are usually quickly released. The number of migrants are also increasing in the Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio sectors in Texas. Tens of thousands have skirted the razor wire, floating buoy barrier, and other obstacles that have been deployed by Governor Abbott’s Operation Lone Star campaign.

Family groups increased last month. This presents additional challenges. Families are not sent back when they are apprehended. In 2021, Biden shut down detention centers used for families and run by ICE.


Parents with children comprise about half of the migrants currently held in CBP custody, according to one official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to reporters.

To accommodate more families and provided better conditions for children, the Biden administration is expanding its use of temporary “soft-sided” facilities with steep operating costs. The large tent structures provide more amenities than brick-and-mortar Border Patrol stations whose austere holding cells were designed for adults.

So, instead of using detention centers already in operation, the families now stay in tents.

This is Biden’s America.

As I said, the numbers are rising again. And, there are a number of legal challenges in play against the Biden administration. The situation is far from settled on the border. No amount of happy talk from the administration will change that.

But it’s far from clear how permanent these drops are. Already the number of people crossing the Darien Gap, a key route for migrants headed to the U.S. from South America, during the first seven months of the year is more than all of 2022 combined.

The active duty military troops’ departure is also happening as much of the Biden administration’s immigration agenda is subject to court challenges. Last week a federal judge ruled that an administration rule limiting asylum access at the southern border was against the law. The administration is appealing that ruling, arguing that it’s a key part of their efforts to maintain order on the border.


Biden still isn’t serious about border security, even though he is now involved (kinda) in his re-election campaign. I think something really horrible will have to happen before Old Yeller secures the southern border. Instead of thanking Governor Abbott for his efforts in securing the Texas border with Mexico, the Department of Justice is suing the governor to take down the buoy barrier and is investigating the legality of using razor wire. The federal government has left Texas on its own and Texas taxpayers have foot the bill to the tune of billions of dollars. Biden doesn’t care. The Biden border crisis is intentional.

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