(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Remember in November when then Defense Secretary James Mattis said U.S. troops assigned to the southwestern border were not expected to interact with migrants?

Well, they are.

NBC News first reported that active-duty troops are assigned to a a Customs and Border Patrol camp in Donna, Texas, where their job involves keeping an eye on the migrants being held there to see if any of them are suffering from medical problems.

"Despite past assurances from federal officials that the active-duty U.S. troops deployed to the border would not be in direct contact with migrants or be used for law enforcement, the service members stand watch over the migrants," NBC reported. "The troops are perched on raised platforms throughout a large room where the migrants are held, according to the four officials."

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Photo by Warren K. Leffler.

Reports that local authorities brought stun grenades, unloaded missile launchers, and other military-style gear to break up protests at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in 2016 recently reignited the long-simmering controversy about the so-called "militarization" of police. However, the military has long had plans plans to tackle civil unrest, riots and even insurrections directly.

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U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas Johnson

Created in 1790, the Coast Guard is the smallest of the five armed services, the least funded, and the only one not a part of the Department of Defense. As it stands today, the Coast Guard is the child of five former agencies of the U.S. government, which included the Revenue Cutter Service, the Bureau of Navigation, the Lifesaving Service, the Steamboat Inspection Service, and the Lighthouse Service, which is how the Coast Guard derives its 11 unique missions including search and rescue; icebreaking operations; and law enforcement. All of these factors help set Coast Guardsmen apart from the members of any other branch.

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