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1,100 National Guard ready for border duty

The California National Guard held a media briefing at the San Diego Tijuana border Wednesday. Guard officials expect to have 1,100 troops stationed at the California border by the end of this month. But as KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson reports it is not clear how much this will help the Border Patrol.

California National Guard officials say 900 troops are already at work in the state's border region. And 200 more volunteers are in training.

The soldiers' duties include building roads and fences and manning operation stations to allow Border Patrol agents to return to enforcement.

However, Border Patrol spokesman Damon Foreman doesn't know how many agents that is.

The President made a speech in May, I believe, and now they're here working. That's not a lot of time to have everything hashed out.

President George Bush requested 6,000 troops be sent to the border. It's a stopgap measure until the Border Patrol beefs up its force. The Guard's mission will cost about $770 million. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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