POSTED: Monday, July 19, 2010 - 11:58am
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 11:42am
U.S./MEXICO BORDER - Various federal agencies have announced they are beefing up border security with additional troops.
Some 1200 National Guard troops are being deployed to the Southwest border with Mexico.
The deployment will begin August 1st.
Specifics of exactly where the troops would be deployed has not been released.
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin says the goal is to not only prevent illegal immigrants from entering the U.S., but also to combat illegal drugs and weapons smuggling...
"We've seen a building on past efforts but also an increase in the resources devoted to the southwest border in an unprecedented way."
The Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement John Morten says the troop deployment is only the beginning...
"We're also adding 68 national guardsmen who will serve as analysts in the four states along the border to help us focus in our cross border smuggling investigations namely in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Today's announcement builds on the strong commitment to the Southwest border that we have at ICE indeed roughly a quarter of all our agents and officers are stationed along the southwest border in those four states."
National Guard chief Craig McKinley says the troops are eager to get going...
"We believe we will be fully ready through the month of August, as we ramp up but surely by September we will have full forces working in the field working with our partners."