Posted on May 10, 2018

National Guard Troops Involved in 1,600 Apprehensions at Mexican Border

Gregory Wallace, CNN, May 9, 2018

National Guard troops stationed along the US-Mexico border have contributed to 1,600 apprehensions of people crossing the border illegally and the capture of about 1,000 pounds of marijuana in their three-and-a-half weeks on the job, according to a Customs and Border Protection official.

The official said the National Guard troops have also contributed to 451 “turn backs,” where individuals abandon an attempt to illegally cross into the US.


There were roughly 38,000 apprehensions of people trying to cross the border illegally each of the past two months, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security. {snip}

The official described the troops as a “force multiplier” and said they are are relieving Border Patrol agents from a variety of responsibilities that are not on the front lines, such as monitoring surveillance systems from control centers. That allows CBP to place additional agents on the ground where they can make arrests.

At a separate event on Tuesday, Defense Secretary James Mattis said National Guard forces are not performing arrests.


A National Guard official said the troops do face a restriction: Those monitoring surveillance equipment, such as cameras, are prohibited from viewing the Mexico side of the border.


The official added National Guard troops stationed in observation lookouts along the Texas-Mexico border are operating under a different legal authority and are not barred from inspecting Mexican territory with their binoculars.

Approximately 775 National Guard troops are currently working in the border region in response to President Donald Trump’s April directive.