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    First 550 US Active-Duty Troops Arriving at Southern Border

    First 550 US Active-Duty Troops Arriving at Southern Border

    WASHINGTON — About 550 U.S. active-duty troops have begun arriving along the U.S.- border in the first group of support ahead of an expected increase of migrants, U.S. defense officials said Tuesday.

    The movement of troops is part of efforts to beef up security along the southern border as the U.S. prepares for the end of immigration restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Those restrictions are set to expire Thursday, leading to concerns about whether that will result in an increase in migrants trying to enter the U.S. starting Friday.

    The forces will mainly be used to help monitor and watch the border, or do data entry and support, and are “not there in any way to be interacting with migrants,” said Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, Pentagon press secretary. The goal is to free up U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel to do law enforcement activities.

    “They needed assistance performing some of those back shop type requirements so that they can focus on the law enforcement aspect of this,” Ryder said.

    At least some of the active duty troops will be used near El Paso, Texas, he said, while adding that will decide where forces will go.

    More than 900 additional soldiers, Marines and airmen will follow around the end of May. The initial calls for a temporary 90-day deployment of the active duty forces, because they can be moved much more quickly to the border than National Guard or Reserve…

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