Trump sending troops to Mexico border amid coronavirus threat

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Thu, 02 Apr 2020 - 08:34 GMT

© AFP | Donald and Melania Trump landed in Scotland on Friday evening

© AFP | Donald and Melania Trump landed in Scotland on Friday evening

WASHINGTON, April 1 (MENA) - The Trump administration is sending more than 500 troops to the nation’s border with Mexico to back up immigration officials as they try to prevent people infected with the coronavirus from entering the US, according to a report by The New York Times.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security seeking 540 military personnel to support Customs and Border Protection operations on the border.

“At a time when Americans face a profound public health and national security threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that the men and women of law enforcement have the support they need to prevent public health threats from entering the country through our borders,” a Homeland Security official said.

The troops will help the Border Patrol officers in detection and monitoring activity on the border, but as in past instances, will not be involved in law enforcement, officials said.

The request is to bolster the CBP because of the increased strain on officers in conducting health and security measures. The US already has roughly 5,000 military personnel at the border.

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