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An active-duty U.S. Army soldier scans for undocumented immigrants near the U.S.-Mexico border, Sept. 10, Penitas, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Defense Department's inspector general plans to review how U.S. soldiers are actually used to support security operations at the U.S-Mexico border, according to a memo first reported by NBC News.

Why it matters: The review could answer some questions posed by House Democrats, who are concerned that soldiers deployed to the border could violate laws prohibiting the use of the military in civilian law enforcement.

What the IG plans to review, per the memo:

  • The amount of money used to support U.S. military deployment to the border and whether those funds are in compliance with federal law.
  • Military training for contact with civilians at the border and other training given to U.S. soldiers.
  • How military personnel coordinate with Homeland Security at the border.

Background: Roughly 5,000 U.S. troops were stationed at the border as of last month, per the Military Times.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden, Harris and nearly all the living former presidents and their spouses lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.

Inaugural address: Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated as president and vice president respectively in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Top Democrats and Republicans gathered for the peaceful transfer of power only two weeks after an unprecedented siege on the building by Trump supporters to disrupt certification of Biden's victory. Trump did not attend Wednesday's ceremony.

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