The arrival of military personnel at the southern border ahead of an expected migrant surge will have little operational impact, as the deployed workers will mainly focus on "data entry," according to internal Department of Homeland Security communications reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
The Biden administration announced this week that it would deploy 1,500 troops to the southern border ahead of the May 11 expiration of Title 42, a pandemic-era public health order that allows border agents to turn migrants away. Internal Homeland Security communications show that the agency is working to grant the troops access to the system that U.S. Customs and Border Protection uses to process migrant data.
According to one senior Homeland Security official, the memos show that the Biden administration is planning to let a large swath of migrants enter the country.
"The Biden administration is doing this so troops can put alien info into government databases and then Customs and Border Protection can then send them on their way," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Free Beacon.
The memos cut against the appearance that President Joe Biden is attempting to secure the border ahead of Title 42's expiration. The documents suggest that the troops will largely be tasked with inputting migrant data into the E3 system, allowing migrants to claim asylum and enter the country.
Reached for comment, the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon spokespeople referred the Free Beacon to Homeland Security's May 2 statement on the president's decision to deploy troops.
The southern border could see up to 15,000 daily crossings once Title 42 lapses, which amounts to just over 5 million annually. March 2020 saw just 5,200 illegal crossings per day.
Republicans and even some Democrats have called on the Biden administration to keep Title 42 in place to prevent the projected surge. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in an April memo warned agency staff that increased migration in the coming weeks will "strain our workforce, our communities, and our entire system."