President Donald Trump's call to deploy the National Guard along the U.S.-Mexico border "will be of tremendous benefit," according to former Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar.
Aguilar, who served as Chief of Border Patrol and as Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, wrote a defense for Trump's request in a column for The Atlantic on Friday.
"Some have criticized President Trump's decision to deploy the Guard, but based on my own experience, these troops will be of tremendous benefit along the border," he wrote, referring to the 2006 deployment of about 6,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.
"It's also not a permanent solution. While the National Guard enhances Border Patrol's interdiction capacities, the rest of the system will struggle to keep pace without comprehensive efforts beyond the Border Patrol."
He notes that during the 2006 deployment, the National Guard "brought a rapid increase and expansion of the Border Patrol's capabilities," and "served a key role in non-direct enforcement work along the border, enhancing surveillance capabilities and increasing situational awareness.
"Importantly, they relieved agents of more administrative tasks so they could return to patrol and enforcement duties."
Aguilar concludes that "deployment of National Guard troops to support the Border Patrol and ports of entry will bolster enforcement efforts," but that "border collaboration with Mexico, enhancing detention, hiring more immigration judges, developing technology capabilities, investing in infrastructure build outs, and working with sending countries-of-origin all play a role in securing the border."
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