News / USA

US to Send 1,200 National Guard Troops to Border With Mexico in August

Meredith Buel

The United States says it will send 1,200 National Guard troops to the country's border with Mexico next month.  This comes amid concerns about escalating violence and efforts to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and narcotics into the U.S. and weapons into Mexico.  

U.S. National Guard troops will begin to deploy along the Mexican border on August 1 and they are expected to stay a year to support federal border patrol agents already in the region.

The troops will be distributed among four border states - Arizona, Texas, California and New Mexico.

Alan Bersin is the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection at the Department of Homeland Security here in Washington. "The fact of the matter is that violence has been proceeding and escalating in Mexico as the result of the civil war among the cartels and the struggle between the government of Mexico and those cartels.  So we see this as part of an ongoing threat that we have been cooperating deeply with the government of Mexico to confront," he said.

Violence along the U.S.-Mexico border has escalated in recent years.  Bersin says illegal crossings are on the decline, but that seizures of weapons and drugs have increased.

In Mexico, northern border areas have been worst hit by drug violence that has left nearly 25,000 people dead since the government launched a crackdown on organized crime more than three years ago.

In recent days, nearly two dozen people have been killed in assaults, including a car bombing that targeted police -- the first attack of its kind in the country's drug war.

Homeland Security's Alan Bersin said "This latest incident is one in a long string of violent incidents.  The precise nature of it is one that we need to work with our Mexican colleagues and counterparts to discover exactly what it was and what implications it may have."

The Obama administration has pledged to ask Congress for $600 million to hire 1,000 more border patrol agents and to purchase unmanned aerial detection systems.

National Guard Bureau Chief, General Craig McKinley, says the troops will be armed, but that they will only use their weapons defensively. "They will be taking the lead from the law enforcement personnel who they will be assisting in that support role.  Entry identification teams will fill a variety of roles, depending on the situation.  But they certainly will be deployed on the United States side of the border, following the rules of engagement as set forth by the lead agencies here," he said.

Sending the National Guard troops follows a decision by the governor of Arizona to sign a law requiring local police to check the immigration status of people they suspect are in the country illegally.

The Obama administration has filed a lawsuit to get the law overturned, arguing that immigration enforcement is a federal, rather than a state, responsibility.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid