Defense officials say the Pentagon is looking at ways the military can help provide more security along the US border with Mexico.
If such plans were approved, it would be another politically sensitive domestic role for the armed forces.
An assistant secretary of defense has reportedly asked officials to come up with options for the use of military resources and troops, particularly the National Guard. Defense officials say the matter has not been made public, and gave no further details.
The military currently plays a very limited role along the borders, though some armed forces have helped battle drug traffickers.