The Pentagon rejected a request from the Department of Homeland Security for troops to be sent to the southern border because it viewed the request as more in line with law enforcement functions, CNN reports. Two defense officials cited by CNN said the request for troops to provide “crowd and traffic control” for a group of Central American migrants was officially turned down on Oct. 26. The Pentagon did reportedly approve a request for air and logistics support, medical personnel and engineers, however. Defense officials said the request was denied because active duty troops do not have the authority to carry out law enforcement functions and would need additional authorities granted by the president. It was not immediately clear if U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis weighed in on the decision. President Trump has repeatedly suggested in recent days that U.S. troops should act as law enforcement to counter migrant caravans at the U.S.-Mexico border, suggesting that troops could arrest or even fire at migrants if they throw rocks.
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