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US Border Patrol Maps Out Limited Role For California Guard

Members of the California National Guard Counterdrug Task Force receive train...

Credit: U.S. Department of Defense

Above: Members of the California National Guard Counterdrug Task Force receive training Aug. 5 at Camp San Luis Obispo.

The first few members of the California National Guard are already in San Diego. The planning team is working with the U.S. Border Patrol.

San Diego Border Patrol Sector Chief Rodney Scott said more than 160 troops will be arriving in San Diego in May.

The troops are operating under a limited role outlined by Gov. Jerry Brown. They will not repair border fences as they had in past operations. The troops will also not perform any role directly related immigration detainees. And no troops will guard or transport migrants detained at the border, Scott said.

“Currently, we’re not asking the national guard to have any contact with any suspects," Scott said. "Their entire role will be administrative in nature.”

U.S. Border Patrol has not been able to fulfill its hiring quotas. San Diego has had a particularly difficult time hiring agents, because of the area's high cost of living, he said.

Nearly all of the guardsmen coming to San Diego will act essentially as dispatchers to free up agents to work in the field. They will also monitor security cameras.

Brown will allow up to up to 400 troops. The guard is asking for volunteers from around the state. In this first round, U.S. Border Patrol will divide the troops between San Diego and Calexico.

The first few members of the California National Guard are already in San Diego. The planning team is working with the U.S. Border Patrol.

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Steve Walsh
Military Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover military and veterans issues for KPBS and American Homefront, a partnership of public radio stations and NPR. I cover issues ranging from delpoying troops along the California border to efforts to lower suicide rates among veterans.

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