Pentagon asked to provide more help on border security

A defense official says the Department of Homeland Security has asked the military to provide more help securing the U.S.-Mexico border.

No decision has been made by Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan, but in the past the Pentagon has provided help when asked. At one point last fall there were nearly 5,900 active-duty troops along the border in Texas, Arizona and California. That number now is about 2,350.

The defense official said Homeland Security asked for certain military capabilities, not any number of troops. It will be up the Shanahan to decide whether more troops are dispatched. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the request for assistance has not yet been fully processed.

The troops have been erecting and reinforcing border barriers but are not engaging with migrants.