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Pentagon prolongs troop deployment at US-Mexico border until September.

The U.S.⁤ Defense Department announced on Thursday that it will extend the deployment‌ of up to 400 active-duty American⁢ troops at the U.S. southern border with Mexico until at least the end of September.

The Pentagon ​had previously withdrawn 1,100 troops from the border, but the remaining 400⁤ soldiers will continue their⁣ deployment.

“On Aug. 24, 2023, the secretary‌ of defense approved an extension of up to 400 personnel providing support​ to‌ Customs and Border Protection on the southwest border⁢ through Sept. 30, 2023,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Devin ⁣Robinson told NBC News on‌ Sept. ‍1.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved the deployment of 1,500 active-duty troops to the southern border for 90 days in May. Their‌ mission was to assist border officials with a potential surge in illegal immigration.

The Pentagon stated that these troops would ⁢not directly engage in⁣ law enforcement activities but⁤ would fill ⁤critical capability gaps⁢ such as ground-based detection and monitoring, data ⁣entry, and warehouse support.

The deployment of these troops​ was intended to support border officials as they dealt with the end​ of Title 42, a measure that allowed for the quick expulsion of thousands of ​migrants from‍ the country due to COVID-19 concerns.

Spike ‍in Illegal‍ Border Crossings

Migrants seeking asylum wait for U.S. Customs and ⁤Border ​Protection agents to allow them ​enter the United States at the San Ysidro ⁢crossing port on the US-Mexico border, as seen from⁤ Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico on May 31, 2023. (Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images)

Data released by Customs ‍and Border Protection (CBP) on Aug. 18 ⁤revealed a significant⁤ increase in encounters between Border ⁢Patrol and individuals attempting to cross the southwest border. In July, there were 132,652 encounters, compared to 99,545 in June.

According ​to CBP data, the number of single adults⁤ encountered per day in ​July⁢ decreased by 66 percent compared ​to the first 11 days of May.

“CBP’s message for anyone who is thinking of entering the United States without authorization or illegally along the southwest border is simple: don’t do it. When noncitizens​ cross the border unlawfully, they⁢ put their ‍lives in peril,” it‌ stated.

CBP One App

The latest numbers also reflect a sharp​ increase in use of the CBP One mobile app. This ⁢app allows up to 1,450 migrants to schedule appointments at land crossings with Mexico to seek asylum. In July,⁣ CBP processed over 44,700 individuals ​with CBP One appointments at ports of entry.

The CBP One app is available to people of any⁢ nationality in central and northern Mexico ⁤who are entering the United States by land and seeking asylum or humanitarian ⁢parole.

Migrants must book an appointment through the⁣ app⁣ and present⁣ themselves at U.S. ports⁢ of entry. Without an appointment, they will be turned away.

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on July 26, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) highlighted the CBP One app, stating that it allows migrants to bypass the southern border and ⁤enter directly through ports of entry.

“Instead of bringing them to the southern border, you’re bringing them directly⁤ to‌ ports of entry,” Mr. McClintock said.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton makes a statement at ​his office in ⁢Austin, Texas, on May 26, 2023. (Eric Gay/AP Photo)

Texas Attorney General ‌Ken Paxton⁢ filed a‌ lawsuit against the Biden Administration on May ‍23, challenging a rule‌ that encourages illegal immigrants to use the CBP One app to seek entry into the United States.

Mr. Paxton argued that the app promotes illegal immigration because ⁣it cannot⁢ verify whether an illegal immigrant qualifies for an exception that would prevent deportation.

“The​ Biden Administration deliberately conceived of this phone app with the goal of illegally pre-approving more foreign ‌aliens to enter the‌ country and ⁣go where they please once they arrive,” he said⁢ in a press release.

Mimi Nguyen Ly and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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