the border
November 19, 2018

The 5,800 U.S. troops sent to the southern border to provide assistance to Customs and Border Protection agents should all be home by Christmas, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan told Politico on Monday.

"Our end date right now is 15 December, and I've got no indications from anybody that we'll go beyond that," Buchanan said. The troops were deployed to the border before Election Day, with President Trump saying they were there to deal with an "invasion" of migrants headed to the United States from Central America. Most of the migrants have said they are fleeing their countries because of extreme poverty and violence, and thousands remain hundreds of miles away. After the deployment, Trump was criticized by Democrats and accused of using the troops as part of a political stunt. Catherine Garcia

May 9, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security wants to ramp up border security even further.

DHS officials requested an additional 700 members of the National Guard to be deployed on the southern border, ABC News reported Wednesday.

The department has additionally asked the Pentagon for resources like helicopters and other equipment to assist in Customs and Border Protection efforts. President Trump last month decided to send troops to the border to address a "drastic surge of illegal activity"; about 1,600 National Guard members have been deployed, and 2,000 have been approved. The approved military presence will cost about $182 million through September, Pentagon officials say.

Defense Secretary James Mattis has given the green light for up to 4,000 troops, who will be authorized to help border security efforts through surveillance and operational support but not immigration law enforcement. The DHS officials are pleased with the results so far, ABC News reports, saying that the National Guard's presence has led to 1,600 apprehensions.

Mattis will reportedly respond to the request for more troops Thursday. Read more at ABC News. Summer Meza

May 1, 2018

The U.S. government has shelled out some major cash because of incidents of violence at the border.

A decade's worth of legal settlements for alleged wrongful deaths, assaults, and other interactions have cost the federal government more than $60 million, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

Between 2005 and 2017, the largest federal law enforcement agency has settled at least 20 wrongful death claims, 1,300 claims of damages from reckless driving, four cases of wrongful deportation, nine illegal detention cases, and several claims of non-deadly force and civil rights violations. Documents reviewed by The Guardian show that the government has paid $6 million to settle lawsuits that say border patrol agents racially profiled and assaulted people without cause.

"Laura Mireles is a United States citizen with a physical disability who was forcibly thrown to the ground, injured, and arrested," reads one court extract detailing a routine traffic stop gone wrong. "The day following Agent Riano's manhandling of her, she suffered a miscarriage of her pregnancy. Agent Riano's actions are unjustifiable."

The Treasury Department settled a claim against Customs and Border Protection once every 32 hours on average in the 12-year period analyzed by The Guardian. The agency has reportedly investigated 30 incidents involving use of force that led to injury or death since 2015, but each one was found to be compliant with agency policy. Read more at The Guardian. Summer Meza

April 5, 2018

President Trump told reporters on Air Force One Thursday evening that he wants to send 2,000 to 4,000 National Guard troops to the border with Mexico.

On Wednesday, Trump signed a memorandum to deploy the National Guard, saying "the security of the United States is imperiled by a drastic surge of illegal activity on the southern border," but didn't share any numbers until Thursday. Trump also said his administration is "looking" at how much it will cost to send so many troops to the border, adding, "we'll probably keep them or a large portion of them" until a border wall is built. Catherine Garcia

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