As Texas Gov. Rick Perry activates troops to help manage a surge of immigrants entering his state through Mexico, Border Patrol agents responsible for apprehending the illegal crossers say they do not want assistance from the National Guard to secure the border. Perry announced Monday he would deploy up to 1,000 National Guard troops to help manage a crisis on Texas’ southwest border with Mexico. House leaders also favor summoning troops to the border to stem the tide of Central American children illegally crossing there. A group of mostly border-state Republicans released a plan Wednesday that would deploy the National Guard “to assist Border Patrol in the humanitarian care and needs of the unaccompanied minors, which will free up the Border Patrol to focus on their primary mission,” the group’s leader, Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, said in a statement. But Border Patrol agents, and leaders from their union, argue that the National Guard would not augment existing manpower because troops are limited in what they can actually do. Shawn Moran, vice president for the National Border Patrol Council, says when troops were deployed to border states in 2006-2008 for Operation Jump Start, they could not “make contact with illegal aliens,” let alone arrest them. The troops were also unarmed. “They were mostly line-watching with binoculars on mountains and helping use surveillance cameras,” said Moran, speaking at a Border Patrol event Wednesday on Capitol Hill. Moran said Border Patrol would have to assign agents to stand side-by-side with troops, diverting resources from arresting people. “The theory is that it [the National Guard] frees up agents to do patrols,” Moran said. “But it takes a lot of training and experience to put agents in the right places. There’s no net gain in manpower. The National Guard is good at building infrastructure, like border fences and all-weather roads. They’re the best in the world at that. But I have serious concerns about how they will be utilized. We have to see what the governor has in store.”...more