Thursday, March 31, 2011

Decision looms over U.S. troops at Mexican border

The Obama administration is weighing whether to keep hundreds of National Guard troops on the U.S. border with Mexico to help clamp down on violence, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Wednesday. The U.S. Congress approved and President Barack Obama signed in August a $600 million bill to tighten security along the porous nearly 2,000 mile border. It includes the hiring of 1,500 Border Patrol agents, customs inspectors and law enforcement officials. The White House sent some 1,200 National Guard troops to help fill the breach while border patrol agents were trained. An Arizona National Guard official told lawmakers on March 15 the troops would end their tour in June, drawing fire from border state politicians. "They have proven to be very very useful at the border, they have helped in a number of drug seizures among other things," Napolitano said in an interview as part of the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit. "I don't think the administration has made a final decision about whether and at what strength to leave the Guard at the border," she said, adding that funding runs out in June...more

No comments: