For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Washington, D.C. - Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Defense (DOD) today announced that National Guard deployments to the Southwest border will begin on Aug. 1 as part of the administration’s unprecedented efforts to combat the transnational criminal organizations that smuggle weapons, cash and people across our Southwest border.
“Over the past year and a half, this administration has pursued a new border security strategy with an unprecedented sense of urgency, making historic investments in personnel, technology and infrastructure,” said Secretary Napolitano. “These troops will provide direct support to federal law enforcement officers and agents working in high-risk areas to disrupt criminal organizations seeking to move people and goods illegally across the Southwest border.”
In May, the President authorized the deployment of up to an additional 1,200 National Guard troops to the Southwest border to provide support for intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, and counternarcotics enforcement—providing support for one year as part of the administration’s unprecedented efforts to crack down on transnational smuggling and cartel violence, as CBP continues to recruit and train additional officers and agents to serve on the Southwest border.
The National Guard Southwest Border deployments augment CBP and ICE resources and assets already at the border, and include:
- 224 in California
- 524 in Arizona
- 72 in New Mexico
- 250 in Texas
- 130 serving as command and control and other support.
In deploying these personnel, the National Guard Bureau is operating under a request for assistance from DHS. Border security is a law enforcement mission, and these troops will augment the Administration's efforts to crack down on the drug cartels and transnational criminal organizations that operate along our Southwest border.
In agreement with DHS, beginning August 1, selected National Guard Members from Southwest border states will begin the necessary training and integration planning to knit them into our nation's border security operating structure,” said Gen. Craig McKinley, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. “The National Guard is deploying in response to DHS’ request for assistance,” he added, “and will serve in law enforcement support roles consistent with the Administration's view that border security is a law enforcement challenge.”
The President has also requested $600 million in supplemental funds for enhanced border protection and law enforcement activities, which are critical to our ongoing efforts.
Last week, Secretary Napolitano announced more than $47 million in fiscal year 2010 Operation Stonegarden grants for the Southwest border states to support law enforcement personnel, overtime, and other related costs to enhance the capabilities of state, local and tribal law enforcement to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. Nearly 80 percent of the fiscal year 2010 funding will go to Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas—up from 59 percent in 2008.