Jacques Billeaud, AP, March 9, 2006
PHOENIX — Gov. Janet Napolitano on Wednesday ordered more National Guardsmen posted at the Mexican border to help stop illegal immigrants and curb related crimes.
National Guard troops have worked at the border since 1988, but Napolitano signed an order authorizing commanders to station an unspecified number of additional soldiers there to help federal agents.
Once the funding is approved, the troops will monitor crossing points, assist with cargo inspection and operate surveillance cameras, according to the order.
“They are not there to militarize the border,” the governor said. “We are not at war with Mexico.”
About 170 National Guardsmen are already posted at the nation’s busiest illegal entry point, where they assist with communications, fence construction and anti-drug efforts.