Migrants reach the border to request asylum to U.S. authorities between the two border fences, in Tijuana
Migrants camp between the two border fences as they wait for authorities to request asylum in San Ysidro, California, U.S., as seen from Tijuana, Mexico April 30, 2023. Reuters

President Joe Biden's administration will temporarily send 1,500 additional troops to assist with securing the U.S.-Mexico border, a U.S. official told Reuters on Tuesday, part of preparations for a possible increase in illegal immigration when COVID border restrictions lift later this month.

The restrictions, known as Title 42, are set to be lifted on May 11. They allow U.S. authorities to rapidly expel non-Mexican migrants to Mexico without the chance to seek asylum.

Biden, a Democrat running for reelection in 2024, has grappled with record numbers of migrants caught illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border since he took office in 2021. Republicans have criticized Biden for rolling back the hardline policies of Republican former President Donald Trump, the current frontrunner for his party's nomination.

The active-duty troops would supplement the work of the U.S. Border Patrol but not carry out any law-enforcement operations, the official said, while speaking on condition of anonymity. They would instead carry out ground-based monitoring and data-entry activities to free up Border Patrol officers, the official added.

The force would come in addition to an ongoing National Guard deployment.

U.S. military troops have been used to help secure the border during previous presidential administrations, including Republican George W. Bush, Democrat Barack Obama and Trump, who deployed thousands of active-duty and National Guard troops.