The Pentagon is scaling back its troop presence on the southern border as the 90-day mission to assist with the feared post-Title 42 surge comes to an end. Around 1,100 active-duty troops have already started returning to their home bases, following Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s authorization.
However, up to 400 active-duty troops will remain at the border until the end of August.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas brags of a "very thoughtful, comprehensive approach to irregular migration to our southern border."
FACT: The 144,000+ southern border encounters in June is a 186% increase from the average June number between 2017-2020. pic.twitter.com/ViAoGr9BXu
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 30, 2023
The deployment of troops was prompted by a request from the Department of Homeland Security in preparation for the conclusion of the Title 42 public health order.
The order allowed for the swift expulsion of migrants at the southern border due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden administration took various measures, such as expanding legal pathways to migration and implementing an asylum rule, to prevent a massive surge in migrants when the order expired.
Joe Biden & his administration have utterly failed on the southern border.
They've produced the worst illegal immigration in our nation's history & haven't fixed the problem.
Now, they're suing Texas for trying to stop the cartels.
They should be ashamed of themselves. pic.twitter.com/ShyJ6D1YOi
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 25, 2023
Although migrant numbers reached record highs leading up to the order’s expiration, the overall numbers decreased after its end. While still relatively high, with over 200,000 migrants in May and 144,000 in June, the administration views the decrease as a sign that their plan has been effective in managing the borders securely and humanely.
However, there are concerns that the decrease may be short-lived. The administration’s post-Title 42 strategy suffered a setback when a federal judge blocked the asylum rule in response to a lawsuit from left-wing groups. The ruling has raised worries about a potential return to elevated encounter levels, putting strain on DHS components, border communities, and interior cities. DHS also warned about 100,000 migrants waiting in northern Mexico to see how the situation unfolds.
Recent reports indicate that initial border numbers have seen a 30% increase in July, and nearly 250,000 people have crossed through the Darien Gap in Panama this year—a key crossing point for migrants attempting to reach the United States.