The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.

On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.

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EL PASO — A federal judge ruled Friday that President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the border violates federal law.

The emergency declaration underpinned the administration's planned transfer of $6.1 billion dollars in Department of Defense funding for counter-narcotics operations and military construction projects to pay instead for a border wall.

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A soldier assigned to the National Guard is silhouetted while keeping watch near a section of the border fence between Mexico and United States, as pictured at Anapra neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez

A former Marine corporal has pleaded guilty to smuggling more than 150 pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico into the United States and will be sentenced in November.

Austin Travis Dempsey, 22, was arrested by Customs and Border Protection agents in Calexico, California soon after midnight on Oct. 28, 2018 as he tried to enter the U.S. in a Ford F-150 pickup truck. When asked why he had been in Mexico, Dempsey said he was visiting a friend he had served with in the Marine Corps, according to a federal complaint filed in California's Southern District.

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An Army veteran who was deported last year is back in Chicago this week to fight for citizenship, hoping to stay in the country he's called home since he was a child.

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Thirteen Marines have been formally charged for their alleged roles in a human smuggling ring, according to a press release from 1st Marine Division released on Friday.

The Marines face military court proceedings on various charges, from "alleged transporting and/or conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants" to larceny, perjury, distribution of drugs, and failure to obey an order. "They remain innocent until proven guilty," said spokeswoman Maj. Kendra Motz.

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A tentative plan to build 20 miles of extra border wall in Arizona, on top of the already approved 100-plus miles, was put on hold Monday by the Pentagon.

Federal officials hoped to build the extra 20 miles of wall in the Border Patrol's Tucson and Yuma sectors. The Army Corps of Engineers said late last month that funds would come from other wall contracts that might cost less than expected. But those savings did not materialize, according to documents filed Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C.

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