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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    TEXAS - The Lone Star State

    National Guard troops to leave U.S.-Mexico border by June 30

    Federally-paid National Guard troops to leave U.S.-Mexico border by June 30

    Nine months after President Obama agreed to pay for emergency deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops along the southwest border, plans are in place to withdraw the reinforcements — including 285 National Guard troops in Texas.

    The Obama administration's decision is sparking bipartisan congressional concern over border security amid fears of spill over violence from unrelenting gangland-style bloodshed south of the border that has claimed more than 30,000 lives over the past five years.

    The scheduled draw down by June 30 was disclosed during House members' questioning of Obama administration witnesses appearing before the House Homeland Security Committee's panel on border and maritime security.

    Mark Borkowski, a senior official in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, said National Guard troops had served as a "bridge to longer-term enhancements in border protection," adding: The "temporary use" of the National Guard "has allowed us to bridge the gap and hire the additional agents to support the Southwest Border, as well as field additional technology and communications capabilities."
    Washington Examiner
    National Guard troops augment border security

    Congress has twice refused to approve Obama administration requests for the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon to share the multimillion dollar cost of the deployment -- effectively spelling an end to the exclusive Pentagon funding on June 30, Borkowski said.

    "So it's over? The National Guard will not be on the border as of June?" Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, asked Borkowski and other witnesses that included the head of the U.S. Border Patrol, a second senior official from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Army Maj. Gen. Hugo Salazar, head of the Arizona National Guard.

    Officials nodded agreement.

    National Guard troops "were always intended to be a stop-gap measure until we could deploy another 1,000 Border Patrol agents," McCaul told the Houston Chronicle. But the 20,000-strong U.S. Border Patrol has not hired and trained enough agents to replace the departing National Guard troops, the lawmaker cautioned.

    "Congress approved hiring these new agents last August," McCaul said. "It is unacceptable that seven months later the chief of the Border Patrol still cannot tell us how many agents he has hired and when they will be in position."

    Michael Fisher, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, said his agents would most likely replace National Guard troops who have served on entry identification teams positioned on high terrain to watch for illegal border crossings by northbound undocumented immigrants and drug traffickers.

    "That (mission) will now be done by U.S. Border Patrol if required," Fisher told the panel.

    Rod Korba, the National Guard Bureau's public affairs and strategic communication spokesman, confirmed the National Guard's presence along the border would end by June 30 when federal funding runs out, unless a last minute deal is struck in which the federal government or states would pay for continued deployments.

    As of Tuesday, Guard personnel were filling 1,193 of 1,200 authorized Guard positions in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

    Obama authorized deployment of the National Guard troops at federal expense last July 1 to support intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, and counter-narcotics enforcement.

    The Department of Homeland Security forged "Operation Phalanx," a joint operation with Customs and Border Protection agencies including the U.S. Border Patrol, and the National Guard.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry, now chairman of the Republican Governors Association, had been one of the first border state governors to ask Obama to deploy federally paid National Guard troops along the Southwest border shortly after the president's inauguration in January 2009.

    Like other governors, Perry can deploy state National Guard troops under his command at any time at state expense.

    Perry's spokeswoman, Katherine Cesinger, said Perry wants 1,000 federally-paid National Guard personnel deployed to the Texas-Mexico border to coordinate with Texas law enforcement efforts until the U.S. Border Patrol is able to field 3,000 agents to Texas.

    "Border security should be a top priority for this administration," Cesinger said. "The threat to our border communities in Texas continues to grow and the last thing that anybody ought to be doing is taking resources away from securing those communities."

    Matt Chandler, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said his department was working on a statement.

    Texans in Congress reacted immediately to word that National Guard troops would be leaving Texas' border.

    "It defies logic that we would remove the National Guard from the border when the border is not secure," said Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble. "If anything, we need more National Guard troops."

    "I don't think it's right," said Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston. "We need to have a National Guard presence there. I know everyone probably wants more troops there with what has been happening."

    Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, said removing the troops would be "a mistake," adding that the draw down reflected cuts in spending forced upon the Obama administration by the GOP-led House and the narrowly Democratic Senate. "We have a state of war on the border," Jackson Lee said. "There's no other way to describe it."

    The phase out comes at a politically sensitive moment: The Obama administration recently cancelled the $1 billion high tech "virtual fence" being built along a 51-mile sector of the border in Arizona.

    The administration also faced criticism by Republican members of Congress in the wake of a Government Accountability Office report that only 129 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border were under "full control" of the U.S. Border Patrol and 873 miles were under "operational control," meaning the U.S. Border Patrol could detect and respond to illegal activity.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

    Obama pressed to extend National Guard's stay along Mexico border

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    We need to have a massive number of troops placed at the border to seal it once and for all. Move the troops from the middle east here and save the money that we are giving to Iraq and Afganistan. That will more than pay for our troops to be on OUR border. Give them the authorization to stop illegal entry with whatever means is needed. We also need to stop the traffic as it is crossing the river. Right now we cannot touch anyon on the river or fleeing back to mexico once theyhit the water. That has to stop and stop now. Stop the drug boats when they are on OUR side of the river. We have to look at this as a war on drugs and illegal entry. We need to rewrite our rules of engagement. Make them as tough as needbe.

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