President Trump’s call for the National Guard to be deployed to the southern border seemed to result in a major immigration win for the administration as the Washington Examiner reports more than 2,100 National Guard troops conducted over 23,000 arrests and seized 35,000 pounds of drugs.
From the report:
National Guard troops helped with the arrest of 23,034 illegal immigrants and the seizure of more than 35,000 pounds of drugs in the roughly six months they were deployed to the border in fiscal 2018, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The more than 23,000 people arrested were “deportable” noncitizens, DHS said. The operation, dubbed “Guardian Support,” also led federal law enforcement to more than 6,100 people who were later turned back, the data said.
Because guardsmen are military personnel and not law enforcement officers, they cannot apprehend people. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents apprehended thousands as a result of guardsmen who were monitoring cameras, flying helicopters, and piloting planes.
According to the report, marijuana accounted for more than 34,000 of the pounds of drugs that were seized. Also on the list was 526 pounds of methamphetamine, 47 pounds of heroin, and 18 pounds of cocaine, the Washington Examiner reports.
President Trump has prioritized securing the border between the United States and Mexico and recently declared a national emergency to acquire extra funding to help construct a border wall. Trump’s unilateral action was applauded by border patrol officials.
Despite what some Trump administration officials laud as obvious evidence and need for extra manpower at the border, Democratic governors in California and New Mexico are pulling their National Guard troops from the border operation, the Washington Examiner also reports.
Here’s even more:
New Mexico’s troops have been hit the hardest of the four border states. Just 18 guardsmen remain deployed there, down from the 200 former Republican Gov. Susan Martinez sent to the southern border last April. That number had dwindled down to 118 until earlier this month when Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham cut it nearly 90 percent to its current figure.
The governor, who took office last month, said she chose to send home the majority of troops from Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Wisconsin because she did not agree the border was in an emergency and needed the military’s assistance.
In California, 350 troops are still serving, but that number is expected to shrink by mid-March following Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order for most to return home. A National Guard spokesperson said to expect a decrease in the coming weeks that takes their numbers down to just 100 at the border.
Arizona has 600 guardsmen serving from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
But Gov. Tony Evers, D-Wis., announced this week that around 120 troops of the state’s forces in Arizona will be called back from their border mission. Similar to Lujan Grisham’s reasoning, Evers said he does not believe the border is facing a crisis.