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US Defense Secretary James Mattis has approved the extension of the deployment of active duty troops to the southern US border through January 31, a spokesperson for the Pentagon told The Hill. 

“The Secretary of Defense has approved an extension of the ongoing Department of Defense (DoD) support to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) response to migrant caravan arrivals. DoD support to DHS is authorized until Jan. 31, 2019,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson did not say how many of the 5,600 troops currently deployed to the border would stay. 

A portion of the troops currently deployed to the border were expected to be relieved on December 15, when the mission was originally set to end.

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