On Friday (May 5), President Joe Biden defended his decision to temporarily send 1,500 active-duty troops to the border ahead of an expected influx of migrants next week.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, Biden said he “asked this Congress” what was needed at the border, explaining that they listed needing “more agents. They need more people to clear people,” and they required more action.
The President noted that the troops were sent to assist the border guards, not to enforce the law. Under federal law, active duty troops cannot directly implement policies.
Instead, Biden insisted the troops are there to “free up” border agents that need to be at the border.
Biden added that he is bringing in a thousand more asylum judges to “make judgments to move things along.”
According to reporting by The Hill, a U.S. official told the publication that the troops would be deployed for 90 days to help with the work, including ground detection and tracking, data entry, and warehouse support.
Biden’s decision to send troops to the Southern border comes as Title 42 — a policy that enabled migrants to be quickly deported at the border and prevented them from applying for asylum — expires on Thursday (May 11).
Biden’s decision has been heavily criticized, with Lawmakers raking issue with the President’s choice to let the policy expire without a solid plan.
Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced bipartisan Legislation on Thursday (May 4) to extend Biden’s authority to deport migrants seeking asylum without a hearing.
Describing the Legislation, Sinema explained the bill would give “the administration time to… implement a realistic [and] workable plan” that secures our border, protects Arizona communities on the crises frontline, and ensures “migrants are treated fairly and humanely.”