MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan’s visit to the U.S.-Mexico border (all times local):
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan says he intends to accelerate planning to secure the U.S.-Mexican border and bolster the Homeland Security Department’s ability to do its mission without continuous military help.
Shanahan has arrived in McAllen, Texas, for a border visit. He plans to see firsthand how the military’s assistance is working and to talk to troops and others involved in border operations about the challenges they face.
Shortfalls in personnel and other resources have led DHS to periodically ask for the military’s help on the border, without a plan for how to fix the underlying resource problems.
Shanahan dismisses any suggestion that active-duty forces will continue that mission for the long haul. They’ve been deployed on the border since last October and are committed to being there through September.
The acting head of the Pentagon, Patrick Shanahan, is making his second trip to the U.S.-Mexican border to highlight what the Trump administration calls a national emergency.
Shanahan is flying to the border town of McAllen, Texas, along with the acting chief of the Homeland Security Department, Kevin McAleenan. The trip underlines Shanahan’s attention to a top priority of President Donald Trump, who says he’ll ask the Senate to confirm Shanahan as defense secretary.
Shanahan is using the border visit to emphasize his view that Homeland Security, the agency primarily responsible for protecting U.S. borders, needs more resources to fulfill its mission.
Shanahan has endorsed the use of about 2,400 thousand active-duty military troops in support of that Cabinet department Security at the border.