Tuesday, July 25, 2006
U.S. border officials announced today that the National Guard is set to reach its goal of stationing 6,000 troops in southwestern border states- including California. From Capitol Hill, Jill Morrison reports.
Some 4,500 National Guard troops currently assist border patrol officers along the U.S. - Mexico border, through a program called Operation Jump Start. National Guard Lieutenant General Steven Blum says an additional 1,500 troops will be deployed by August first.
Blum: "The National Guard part in this is to provide military assistance to civilian law enforcement, as directed by the president and secretary of defense. We, remember, are not doing law enforcement work, we're doing everything else that badge-carrying border patrol members used to have to do."
The goal of Operation Jump Start is to allow 581 border patrol officers to return to direct law enforcement work rather than administrative duties. About half that goal has now been reached. From Capitol Hill, Jill Morrison, KPBS News.