Political News

45-day extension of US troops' border mission is under discussion

Posted November 28, 2018 6:40 p.m. EST

— The Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon are having initial discussions that could lead to a 45-day extension of the southern border mission for US troops, according to two administration officials.

DHS would have to make a specific request to the Pentagon.

One of the officials said that "based on what happened on Sunday" DHS still wants the help of the Defense Department, adding that "the threat has not gone away."

The agencies are also discussing whether some engineers who worked on fortifying crossing points in Arizona and Texas can now be sent home and whether more troops will shift to California.

On Wednesday afternoon, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said the Pentagon was ready to "react to the Department of Homeland Security" if it asks for any extensions. Mattis added, "Right now we have no new requests, although we are discussing every day the situation and so I can't forecast when that will be."

Last week Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she had "no doubt that DoD will continue to be our partners in this mission until it is resolved."

NPR was first to report the possible extension.

This is a breaking story that will be updated.