Dec 10, 2019

Pentagon inspector general to review troop deployments at southern border

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.

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Second judge blocks Trump from using billions in Pentagon funds to build border wall

President Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A federal judge in California blocked President Trump on Wednesday from diverting $3.6 billion from military projects to build the border wall.

The big picture: This follows a nationwide injunction issued on Tuesday by a Texas judge, who also argued that Trump's national emergency was unlawful. The administration is now blocked from using about one-third of the total funds that were allocated for the border wall, signaling that it intended to appeal after the Texas' judge ruling on Tuesday.

Go deeper: Trump declares national emergency to access $3.6B for border wall

Keep ReadingArrowUpdated Dec 11, 2019

Where U.S. troops and military assets are deployed in the Middle East

An American soldier stands guard during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in the Syrian village of al-Hashisha. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. has maintained a costly presence in the Middle East for decades, with at least 60,000 troops currently stationed around the region, according to United States Central Command.

Driving the news: The killing of Iran's Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a U.S. drone strike has put the world on edge, with Iran promising revenge. The U.S. is preparing to deploy about 3,000 additional troops to the region, and had already sent 750 troops after protesters attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 8, 2020 - World

Inslee calls reports of U.S.-Iranian citizens being held at border alarming

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Monday called reports that dozens of Canadian and American citizens faced hours of questioning at the U.S.-Canada border because of their Iranian heritage over the weekend "deeply alarming." Customs and Border Protection denies the allegations.

Driving the news: Civil rights group the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it's been "assisting more than 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans of all ages who were detained at length and questioned at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Wash."

Go deeperArrowJan 7, 2020