National Guard at Border?
Los Angeles, CA
July 31, 2010 – 3:56 PM | by: Casey Stegall, FoxNews
For some time, many lawmakers have called for a military presence along the US/Mexico border to assist Border Patrol agents, as the drug and human smuggling cartel violence increasingly spills over into America. In May, President Obama answered the call and said he’d send in the National Guard to help out. On July 19th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the deployment would happen on August 1st. However, I’m with my crew in Arizona and it appears the deployment date isn’t happening on Sunday after all. What’s the delay all about?
The National Guard Bureau and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) don’t see it as a delay. In fact, a spokesperson with the National Guard Bureau in Virginia says the August 1st date has been “over interpreted” and the DHS had given the Guard 90 days, beyond the first of August, to ramp up its numbers. When it’s all said and done, Arizona will get 524 soldiers. California is set to receive 260, 82 will head to New Mexico and 286 to Texas. The Arizona National Guard tells us it’ll most likely be late September or even early October before boots ever hit the ground in this state. The presence will first show up in New Mexico and Texas. A spokesperson says August 1st is the day they’ll begin the processing of soldiers… then it’ll take another several weeks to train them.
FOX News reached out to the Department of Homeland Security to get clarification on deployment dates. An official there, who didn’t want to be identified, released this statement: “I am surprised by this report. Troops WILL be there Sunday (Aug 1st) as planned. This is the beginning deployment stage. There is a ramp up time and troops will be trained. Nothing has changed in our world.”
So, you can see, there is some conflicting information between all of the departments. I caught up with Senator John McCain in Phoenix yesterday and asked him what all the confusion was about. McCain, who served on the Committee of Homeland Security and Governmental Issues, told me he and his colleagues have repeatedly asked for briefings pertaining to the National Guard deployment but the DHS said it would “get back” to him. That never happened, according to the incumbent who is seeking re-election in the state primary at the end of August for his Senate seat. The four-term Senator says this is just one more example of Washington double talk and how the Obama administration hasn’t made border security a top national priority, which he feels should be. McCain has invited the President down to the border several times so he can see the problems for himself, an invitation that has never been accepted. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer also feels the federal government isn’t doing its job in terms of border security. She has long been an advocate for bringing troops to the border.
So, the waiting game continues for our southern border states as the feds try and sort it all out. What are your thoughts?!