National Guard will start to deploy to U.S.-Mexico border next month

Posted on July 22, 2010


The 1,200 National Guards that US President Barack Obama ordered to the border with Mexico to help crackdown on smuggling and drug trafficking will begin deploying next month, a senior official said Monday. Alan Bersin, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection — better known as the “Border Czar” — said the deployment will begin August 1, and that the troops should be fully in place by September.

The soldiers “will provide direct support to federal law enforcement officers and agents working in high-risk areas to disrupt criminal organizations seeking to move people and goods illegally across the southwest border,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The troops will provide a one-year bridge to give US Customs and the US Border Patrol time to hire and train about 1,000 more agents, officials said. National Guard Bureau Chief General Craig McKinley said the soldiers will mostly work observing suspicious movement along the 2,000-mile-long (3,200 kilometer) border and relaying any information back to Border Patrol agents. Other guard troops will work as criminal and intelligence analysts, McKinley said.

The National Guard will be in a support role, under the command of state governors and senior state officials, and under leadership of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. The soldiers will not directly enforce US immigration laws, and McKinley emphasized that they will only use their weapons in self defense.

Six aircraft have also been ordered to the border to be added to the fleet of helicopters, planes and drones already monitoring the region, officials said. The largest group of guardsmen — 524 — were being sent to the state of Arizona, currently the favorite corridor for drug and human smugglers. The troops are being deployed as a controversial new Arizona immigration law is set to take effect July 29 making it a crime to be in the border state without proper immigration papers.

The Obama administration has sued Arizona to stop the law from being implemented, arguing that only the federal government can handle immigration issues. Obama’s May announcement deploying the National Guard came less than a week after Mexican President Felipe Calderon — who asked for greater US backing for his bloody three-year-old war on drug cartels — was in Washington on a state visit.

US Senators from Arizona, Republicans John McCain and Jon Kyl, welcomed the move, saying “the announcement of additional personnel and resources to Arizona is a step in the right direction.”

“However, a lot more needs to be done. We look forward to working with the administration to make this deployment of Federal agents permanent,” and on enacting their own plan for securing the border, the lawmakers said.;_ylt=AihltuoT1Vng57qqOeoWMBsHcggF;_ylu=X3oDMTMzMTJsdWIzBGFzc2V0A2FmcC8yMDEwMDcxOS91c21leGljb2ltbWlncmF0aW9ubWlsaXRhcnkEcG9zAzI4BHNlYwN5bl9wYWdpbmF0ZV9zdW1tYXJ5X2xpc3QEc2xrA3VzdHJvb3BzdG9kZQ–

Posted in: The Anti News