The Department of Justice is dispatching more assets to the southern border, responding to a call for help from Homeland Security.
Senior DOJ officials told Fox News that headquarters is sending 33 DEA agents and 10 U.S. Marshals Service personnel to the Southern California border region. That’s the same region where migrant caravan members clashed with border agents over the weekend after rushing a U.S. port of entry.
The Trump administration has referred to the situation on the southern border as a “crisis,” and in recent weeks set in motion a massive movement of personnel and equipment to areas traditionally susceptible to illegal border crossings. National Guard troops have been providing support at the border for months, and thousands of active-duty military troops were dispatched in the last few weeks.
DHS officials recently took up the offers of more assistance from DOJ.
“We’re building a team down there,” one senior Trump administration official said.
The personnel being dispatched in this case reveal some priorities. Marshals have wide-ranging ability to enforce the law and usually are used to track down felons eluding law enforcement. In this case, Marshals could be used to track down repeat illegal crossers, since entering the country illegally for a second time is considered a felony.
The DEA agents, expected to arrive Wednesday, could be used to conduct interviews on-site to ascertain if someone crossing the border could be involved in any illegal drug activity.