Schwarzenegger deploys National Guards at California-Mexico border

16:29, August 19, 2010      

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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Wednesday that the first of 224 soldiers and airmen have completed their training to go operational in the field with border patrol agents, with expectations of becoming fully operational on Sept. 1.

The governor made the announcement while visiting California National Guard (CNG) service members who have been deployed to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on the California-Mexico border.

"I am proud that we are the first state to have our troops trained and operational for this mission," the governor said.

"These men and women will provide much needed assistance to help secure our border, but it's important to remember that this is only the beginning. We must find a permanent solution to our broken immigration system."

"We need the federal government to step up with even more manpower and funding, and I will continue to push President (Barack) Obama and Congress for action," Schwarzenegger added.

Last month, the governor directed CNG to temporarily support federal efforts to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, in support of Obama's proposal to deploy 1,200 National Guard personnel along the southwest border of the United States.

The deployment is for up to one year in support of counter-narcotics and border security operations. Following the governor's direction, CNG soldiers and airmen began their training at Camp Roberts, California.

Schwarzenegger said he has long believed that more border patrol agents are needed to reduce illegal border crossings and end human trafficking and the influx of narcotics.

"The California National Guard is proud to be at the forefront of homeland security, helping to secure our nation's borders," said Adjutant General Brigadier General Mary J. Kight.

"Our soldiers and airmen bring a high level of civilian career expertise and military training to the mission that allows them to be a superb force multiplier to the Border Patrol."

CNG will be performing a variety of duties including entry identification and criminal analysis. Entry identification teams will provide additional assistance to CBP, watching from strategic remote sites and reporting any suspicious activity to patrolling agents.

Source: Xinhua


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