Pentagon gets request to extend Mexico border deployment

US

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Marines deploy concertina wire at the U.S. Mexico border in preparation for the arrival of a caravan of migrants at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego, California, U.S. November 15, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon has received a request from within the Trump administration to extend the deployment of troops to the border with Mexico, which otherwise would have ended on Dec. 15, U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Pentagon declined to comment. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who would have to sign off, suggested earlier this week such a request was being developed as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security looked for military support hardening the U.S.-Mexico border to stem illegal immigration.

Critics, including Democrats in Congress, have derided the deployment as a political stunt.

Reporting by Phil Stewart; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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