Washington: The United States will deploy an additional 3,750 troops to its frontier with Mexico, the Pentagon said, as President Donald Trump doubled down on his call for a wall to boost border security.
"The Department of Defence will deploy approximately 3,750 additional US forces to provide the additional support Customs and Border Protection at the southwest border that Acting Secretary of Defence (Pat) Shanahan approved Jan 11," a statement said.
This additional deployment is for three months and will bring to 4,350, the total number of troops at the border.
Soldiers were originally deployed to the border under an order President Donald Trump gave before midterm elections in November as "caravans" of migrants made their way to the border to seek asylum from violence and poverty in their own countries.
But the mission, under which troops assist civilian border patrol agents by providing logistical support and installing concertina-wire fencing, has been described by opponents as a political stunt designed to create the illusion of a crisis.
Their tasks will include "a mobile surveillance capability through the end of September 2019, as well as the emplacement of approximately 150 miles of concertina wire between ports of entry."
The president says that existing sections of walls should be extended along the border to stop uncontrolled invasion of criminals.
Trump underscored these claims on Sunday. "With Caravans marching through Mexico and toward our Country, Republicans must be prepared to do whatever is necessary for strong Border Security," he tweeted.
Democrats, who control the lower house, have repeatedly rejected Trump's funding demands, saying that he has made the wall project a political crusade to demonise immigrants and to satisfy his base.
He previously tried to pressure Congress into backing his idea by refusing to sign off on budgets for swathes of the federal government, leading to a five-week shutdown of some 800,000 government jobs.(UNI)