UPDATED 10:42 AM PT — Saturday, March 7, 2020
Additional troops are reportedly being sent to the U.S.-Mexico border. According to new reports, the military has reassigned 160 troops to the ports of entry in El Paso, Texas, and San Ysidro, California.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed the troops are scheduled to be there for about two weeks, but said their stay could be extended.
The move came in response to a federal court’s decision to dismantle the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy in California and Arizona. The court ruled that the initiative violated U.S. and international law.
The policy has blocked asylum seekers, particularly those traveling through or from South America, from entering the U.S. until their claims have been heard in court. Since going into effect over a year ago, about 60,000 asylum seekers have begun taking refuge in Mexico while they await possible entry into the U.S.
Authorities have expressed concern the new ruling could bring a rush of asylum seekers to the border.
This week, the administration filed an appeal against the court. The Justice Department has released a statement, saying “the decision ignores the constitutional authority of Congress and the administration.”
Regardless of this, the court has pressed on and some parts of the nation have already felt the effects. Earlier this month, the same court temporarily ruled to block the policy nationwide.
Officials walked back the ruling after chaos erupted at a border bridge in El Paso, where more than 100 migrants tried to rush into the U.S.
“Let us pass,” said one bystander. “We have been waiting here for almost a year, they take away the MPP (Migrant Protection Protocols) and they do not let us pass.”
Guardia Nacional de Mexico ordered the closure of the Paso Del Norte International Bridge in Ciudad Juárez according to municipal police in Ciudad Juárez. pic.twitter.com/bzEJvDLWUz
— Joel Angel Juárez (@jajuarezphoto) February 29, 2020
This time, the court will give officials more notice. Changes to the ruling will not go into effect until March 12th, unless the Supreme Court takes up the appeal.
Moving forward, plaintiff’s lawyers have vowed to continue on until they overturn the policy nationwide.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham has said the administration “remains committed to using every lawful means necessary to secure the border.”