The first of 532 National Guard troops are set to begin their mission in the southern Arizona desert on Monday under President Barack Obama's plan to beef up U.S.-Mexico border security.
Authorities would not say how many troops would start Monday, but said waves of them will be deploying every Monday until all 532 are on the Arizona border — expected by the end of September.
Arizona National Guard spokesman Lt. Valentine Castillo says the troops will be "extra eyes and ears" for U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.
He says the troops will have guns for self-defense, but they will not have the authority to arrest anyone themselves. If they spot illegal immigrants, they must report them to the Border Patrol.
© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.