Several hundred active-duty troops will be home for Christmas after they were deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border in response to the migrant caravan crisis, officials said Monday.
The Pentagon said 400-500 active-duty troops will be home after spending weeks along the southern border, helping the Border Patrol erect barriers and string barbed wire to bolster security necessary to keep out illegal migrants.
Col. Robert Manning III, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters there are currently 5,200 troops on the border with Mexico, down from a high of roughly 5,900 when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis traveled to the border last month along with Kirstjen Nielsen, the Department of Homeland Security secretary.
There are currently about 2,200 active-duty forces in Texas, 1,350 more in Arizona and 1,650 in California.
Manning did not offer a timeline for how long the active-duty troops would be deployed, citing an ongoing interagency discussion with DHS.
More than 2,000 National Guard troops deployed to the southern border since the springtime would remain until the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, 2019, he added.