US Catholic Bishops of US/Mexico Border Respond to US National Guard Deployment
11 April, 2018, 08:07 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
The Republican governors of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico on Monday committed 1,600 Guard members to the border, giving President Donald Trump numerous troops he requested to fight what he's called a crisis of migrant crossings and crime. Two-thirds of our border already have a wall. I don't like that our border is wide open and not protected, especially in the area of Tucson (border city and borough).
Ducey denied that his decision to send Guard members to the border was politically motivated.
Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey speaks to Arizona National Guard soldiers prior to deployment to the Mexico border at the Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix, April 9, 2018. Jerry Brown, who has not announced whether troops from his state's National Guard will participate and has repeatedly fought with Trump over immigration policy. The order provides for the financing of these units by the Pentagon until September inclusive.
The CBP agency has border liaison officers who closely collaborate with Mexican law enforcement officials to gather intelligence and build cases against drug traffickers.
The defense department said the troops would not carry out law enforcement activities without federal approval and would be armed for self-defense when necessary.
After plunging at the start of Trump's presidency, the numbers of migrants apprehended at the southwest border have started to rise in line with historical trends. However, in the recently adopted budget, the Congress approved the provision of Finance only for a limited part of the construction of new walls and some fix work.
"Your mission is to support the efforts of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and their efforts to secure the border, and keep the communities on the border safe", Gov. Doug Ducey, R-Ariz., told the troops in a press conference Monday.
But the state's National guard did not return phone and email messages Monday seeking comment on how many have arrived.
Governors who send troops retain command and control over their state's Guard members and the USA government picks up the cost. Over the past few years and under the previous Obama administration, budgetary commitments from both Republican and Democrat lawmakers have expanded and improved border security infrastructure and technology and greatly increased the number of border agents.
Last Friday, Ducey announced that as many as 150 Guardsmen could be deployed to the border this week, but that number has now been upped to 338. It is much more than 16.5 thousand people detained in March a year ago, but less than the number of arrests in the same month in 2013 and 2014.
Border residents - who would be the first to encounter swarms of border crossers - would also likely argue that the president's fearmongering tactics has little basis in what they're seeing in their towns.
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