DHS asks for 1,000 more National Guard troops at southern border

DHS asks for 1,000 more National Guard troops at southern border

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is asking for 1,000 additional Texas National Guard troops "to provide supplemental holding and port of entry enforcement support" to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the state, the Department of Defense told The Hill on Monday.

The Pentagon has not yet approved the request, which was made last week.

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has agreed to the use of the National Guard to assist CBP at the border, said Maj. Chris Mitchell, a Pentagon spokesperson.

"Supplemental holding support is requested for CBP holding facilities located at Donna and Tornillo, Texas," he said.

"These holding facilities house single adult migrants who have illegally entered the United States, been processed by CBP, and are awaiting transfer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities. These holding facilities will be owned, operated, and managed by CBP."

DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

There were 6,000 troops at the border as of April, 2,100 were members of the National Guard.

The DHS request comes as the Trump administration has received increasing criticism for the treatment of migrants detained at the border.

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General recently released two reports detailing conditions in El Paso, Texas, and Rio Grande, Texas, facilities. The government watchdog found severe overcrowding, migrants being held too long and dirty conditions at many of the facilities.

The administration has deflected the criticism, saying stemming the flow of immigrants is a priority.

Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border plummeted by 28 percent from May to June, the DHS estimates.