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Pentagon Extends Border Mission Through End Of September

Defense officials approved a DHS request for additional support to upgrade border fencing and help with surveillance.
Posted at 8:05 AM, Jan 15, 2019

The Pentagon is extending the military's mission at the U.S.-Mexico border through the end of September.

In a statement Monday, Defense officials said the Pentagon approved a Department of Homeland Security request for additional support to upgrade about 160 miles of fencing and help with border surveillance.

As Newsy previously reported, the Department of Defense is not affected by the partial government shutdown, and the cost of any fence construction would reportedly come out of the Pentagon's annual budget. 

The Trump administration deployed thousands of active-duty troops to the border late last year in response to migrants who were traveling north through Mexico at the time. 

Those troops have been supporting U.S. Customs and Border Protection efforts by helping with surveillance, reinforcing barriers, and providing medical support and temporary housing.

Prior to the Pentagon's most recent mission extension, the roughly 2,300 troops who are still  at the southern border were scheduled to remain there until the end of January. 

It's currently unclear how extending the mission until September will affect the number of troops deployed to the border. But it's up to the Pentagon to decide if any troops it deploys will be active-duty or members of the National Guard.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.