U.S. Border Patrol welcomes California National Guard - The CW San Diego - News 8

U.S. Border Patrol welcomes California National Guard

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National Guard personnel receive their Border Patrol briefing on May 9, 2018. Courtesy: U.S. Border Patrol National Guard personnel receive their Border Patrol briefing on May 9, 2018. Courtesy: U.S. Border Patrol

SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - As part of Operation Guardian Support, the U.S. Border Patrol, San Diego Sector welcomed 108 California National Guard personnel who started training last week.

Operation Guardian Support includes the deployment of National Guard troops to San Diego and will fill vital, non-enforcement support roles such as: communications specialists, camera operators, vehicle mechanics, intelligence analysts, administration clerks, and range safety officers.

President Donald Trump ordered National Guard troops to deploy to the U.S.-Mexico border to help federal authorities combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

California's all-Democratic leadership has positioned the state as a national leader in battling the Trump administration, especially on immigration issues. Government leaders at the state level and in big cities have condemned mass raids and deportation efforts, President Donald Trump's call for a border wall with Mexico and Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "zero tolerance" order to prosecute people caught illegally entering the United States for the first time.

Gov. Jerry Brown agreed to contribute 400 troops to the National Guard's deployment to the Mexican border to help go after drugs, guns and criminal gangs — not immigrants.

The governor has said under the terms of the agreement the state reached with the Trump administration, the Guard cannot handle custody duties for anyone accused of immigration violations, build border barriers or have anything to do with immigration enforcement.

The support of the National Guard will allow Border Patrol agents on detailed assignments to return to the field to focus their law enforcement efforts on securing the border by preventing terrorists and their weapons from entering the United States between official U.S. Customs and Border Protection ports of entry.

The Border Patrol is responsible also for preventing the illicit trafficking of people and contraband between the official ports of entry.

National Guard personnel will report to Border Patrol stations and programs throughout the San Diego Sector’s area of responsibility.

“National Guard units are a tremendous force multiplier and will assist the Border Patrol in providing valuable logistical and administrative support,” stated San Diego Sector Chief Rodney S. Scott. “This support will be an immediate, short-term measure that enables Border Patrol agents to return to the border; increasing national security.”

The United States Border Patrol has a history of collaborating with the California National Guard. In 2006, Operation Jump Start consisted of National Guard personnel assisting agents with border security and in 2010, Operation Phalanx involved personnel deployed along the border.

The troops, who will also work in neighboring Imperial County, are expected to stay until at least Sept. 30.

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