Border Patrol clarifies duties of National Guard troops
KOB.com Web Staff
April 13, 2018 10:34 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Border Patrol offered an update Friday on preparations for its operation with the National Guard, as officials said troops will "immediately" impact what they are able to accomplish at the border.
"(That) will increase our effectiveness in our law enforcement operations," said Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello.
President Donald Trump has said he wants up to 4,000 National Guard troops to help the Border Patrol fight drug trafficking and illegal immigration. New Mexico and other border states have committed about 2,000.
Border Patrol officials say they have begun to vet the personnel who will be working with them. Later, they will schedule training for surveillance systems, maintenance and other duties.
The troops will not be involved in law enforcement, instead serving in support roles, officials say.
"(That includes) monitoring cameras and sensor feeds," Vitiello said. "They will provide much-needed aerial support and we anticipate they will help with roads and vehicle maintenance, among other duties."
The Border Patrol says it has seen a 1,200 percent increase in apprehensions over the past year, many of them involving families and unaccompanied children attempting to illegally enter the U.S.
One area of particularly high illegal entry, officials say, is a stretch of border near Santa Teresa in southern New Mexico. This week, work began on a new border barrier in the area.
Crews are replacing 20 miles' worth of vehicle barriers with walls of sturdy, vertical bollards.
It's a $73 million project that authorities say will help curb illegal crossings and drug trafficking.
KOB.com Web Staff
Updated: April 13, 2018 10:34 PM
Created: April 13, 2018 09:32 PM
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