The Trump administration had the legal right to send the active-duty troops to the southern U.S. border to support the Department of Homeland Security, an inspector general’s report found.
Some lawmakers in Congress disputed the legality of the move, but the Defense Department Inspector General’s Office reported that the deployments and the agency’s funding of them were legal.
In April 2018, President Donald Trump authorized the deployment of National Guard troops to assist Border Patrol agents. He later sent active-duty troops to the border. The troops are expected to continue their missions through Sept. 30, 2021.
In September 2019, 34 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the IG to initiate the inspection, and three months later it launched. Specifically, the lawmakers asked for the watchdog to investigate the use of personnel and funds under Title 10. That language highlights authorized use cases of the military.
A Pentagon spokesperson said roughly 2,600 active-duty personnel and approximately 2,450 National Guard members were sent to the southern border in June. He added that 600 more active-duty troops also deployed “to help address [coronavirus] health protection measures.”
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