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IG report: Use of U.S. troops at U.S.-Mexico border compliant with law

A barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border at Yuma, Ariz., is installed. An Inspector General's report on Tuesday said that U.S. military deployments for the project are compliant with federal law and Defense Department policy. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
A barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border at Yuma, Ariz., is installed. An Inspector General's report on Tuesday said that U.S. military deployments for the project are compliant with federal law and Defense Department policy. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Use of military personnel to secure the U.S.-Mexico border is compliant with the law, the Defense Department's inspector general confirmed this week.

The 76-page report surveying deployment from October 2018 to December 2019, in which U.S. troops provided aerial support, maintained mobile surveillance sites and installed barriers, said that use of personnel was compliant with Defense Department policy and federal laws.

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It added that military personnel "had limited contact with civilians or migrants, and contact that did occur was acceptable under DoD policy."

The report, released on Tuesday, came after the U.S. Congress demanded an inspector general's probe in 2019 of whether use of the military was acceptable under Title 10 of the U.S. Code, which provides the legal basis for the roles and mission of each service branch.

It added that the Defense Department "provided adequate training consistent with federal laws and DoD policies on the Standing Rules for the Use of Force and on potential reaction to contact with civilians or migrants," but recommended that additional training be provided.

About $3.8 billion in the Pentagon's budget was earmarked for President Donald Trump's goal, by 2022, to install about 900 miles of a barrier at the border. About 177 miles have been constructed or replaced so far.

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