MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The US Department of Homeland Security has asked the Defence Department to provide 1,000 additional troops from Texas National Guard to support the work of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency on the border with Mexico, CNN reported, citing a Pentagon spokesperson.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has agreed to this measure, while the Department of Defence has not yet approved the request, which was made last week, according to CNN.
“Supplemental holding support is requested for CBP holding facilities located at Donna and Tornillo, Texas … these holding facilities will be owned, operated, and managed by CBP”, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Chris Mitchell told CNN.
Customs and Border Protection has been facing backlash after reports emerged about migrants, including children, being kept in poor conditions with inadequate food, water and sanitary supplies while in the agency’s custody in Texas. On 1 July, Democratic members of US Congress visited two Texas border facilities and later expressed outrage over the worsening humanitarian crisis in there.
In June, US President Donald Trump announced that the United States and Mexico had reached a deal, under which Washington would abandon earlier announced plans to impose tariffs on Mexican goods in a bid to stop the migrant influx. The deal stipulates that Mexico will deploy its National Guard to its southern border and will work to dismantle human smuggling networks.
Trump has repeatedly expressed concerns over the situation with migrant detention centres, calling it terrible. He also put the blame on the Democrats and the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama. On 27 June, US Congress passed a $4.6 billion humanitarian aid package to address the crisis at the United States’ border with Mexico. Last week, the president signed the legislation.