It’s been nearly 4 months since the president ordered National Guard troops to our border to help stop illegal immigration into the country.
A number of states refused to send troops for the controversial mission.
Today, Texas and Arizona National Guard commanders, as well as Customs and Border Patrol were in Washington to give lawmakers an update on the deployment.
Newscenter 23’s Washington correspondent Anna Wiernicki reports
“I have seen what works to secure our border and I have seen what does not.” Says Rodolfo Karisch, U.S. Border Patrol Chief.
Karisch says the National Guard’s extra boots on the border have helped tremendously.
“Any assistance that we can get is welcome.” Says Mr. Karisch.
President Trump deployed the 2,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border in April. Karisch told lawmakers that the guard’s mission remains strictly behind the scenes support.
“There are surveillance systems to monitor, fences to repair, vegetation to clear, and intelligence reports to analyze.” Says Mr. Karisch
But according to Texas Democrat Filemon Vela, “This is a horrendous idea.”
Vela says the president should have never deployed the National Guardin the first place. He told Major General John Nichols with the Texas National Guard that he wants to pull the troops out.
“I fear that your time and resources are being misspent on a deployment that may be nothing more than political show.”
Nichols said in response that “Our main mission is the defense of America.”
Nichols told Vela that he thinks that mission has been a success so far.
Arizona Republican congresswoman Martha McSally supported the deployment. But she says it was supposed to be temporary, so it’s time to start thinking about a permanent plan, like extending funding for the troops to stay longer.
“We cannot continue to surge our citizen soldiers and their resources for just brief periods of time.” Said McSally.
“We will continue as long as asked to do that mission.” Responded Nichols.
General Nichols says the guard is planning to rotate out and replace the troops that were deployed in April. He hopes to do that next month.