Tags: us-mexico border | national guard | troops

Politico: Troops Conducting 'Busywork' at Border

Politico: Troops Conducting 'Busywork' at Border
A National Guard troop watches over Rio Grande River on the border in Roma, Texas. (John Mone/AP

By    |   Thursday, 14 June 2018 09:53 AM

The troops that President Donald Trump ordered to help guard the border have stayed “as far away from the border as possible,” maintaining vehicles and caring for Border Patrol horses.

“That is the biggest difference from last time, when they sent soldiers to a hill and said, ‘Hey, look towards the border,’” Capt. Macario Mora of the Arizona National Guard told Politico referring to the National Guard’s previous deployment to the border under former President Barack Obama.

“There is a false narrative that we are doing ride-alongs,” Mora added. The troops are not allowed to participate in patrols or any operations that detain people crossing the border illegally, and none of the troops are armed.

“There is no anticipation that will change,” Mora said.

“It definitely helps mitigate the risk of the National Guard running into conflict,” Mora added of the “much safer environment” the troops are in, miles from the border.

“Some are getting recruited,” Mora added. “I wouldn’t be surprised if some become Border Patrol agents.”

Some troopers, like Sergeant Jonathan Sanchez, care for the horses the Border Patrol uses for mounted patrols, clear vegetation, work as office clerks or perform maintenance on their vehicles.

“We fix flats,” Sanchez said.

Border Patrol union president Brandon Judd said in May that the deployment has been “a colossal waste,” according to the L.A. Times, and said that under Obama, the National Guard was “allowed to do a lot more than they are under the Trump administration. They were allowed to be in lookout and observation posts. They were allowed to be out grading the roads and mending fences. They were allowed to be our eyes and ears, freeing us up.”

Arizona National Guard spokesman Capt. Aaron Thacker admitted that it has been difficult to find useful things for the soldiers to do.

“Deployment includes the process of going through medical evaluations, administrative reviews, ensuring security background checks are up-to-date if required, so on and so forth,” he said. “And then they have to be married up with a job that their skill set can do.”

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The troops that President Donald Trump ordered to help guard the border have stayed “as far away from the border as possible,” maintaining vehicles and caring for Border Patrol horses.
us-mexico border, national guard, troops
346
2018-53-14
Thursday, 14 June 2018 09:53 AM
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