California National Guard members have assisted in 1,319 apprehensions along the state’s boundary with Mexico, where they have worked since August in support of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) under the Presidential Administration’s plan to beef up border security.
The state’s contingent of 260 soldiers assigned to the San Diego sector adds about 10 percent in staffing to the Border Patrol’s 2,500 agents. In addition to arrests, the soldiers have deterred 180 individuals from illegal entry, said a CBP spokesman. In July, before the soldiers arrived, apprehensions totaled 5,113. Then there were 4,528 arrests in August and 4,012 in September.
A year earlier, August and September apprehensions averaged about 6,500 per month. The soldiers “are helping us to deter people from making entry and when they do make entry, (the troops) are helping us make apprehensions through their detection,” the CBP spokesman said. In addition to detection teams, a small number of National Guard personnel are serving as intelligence analysts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on narcotics and human-trafficking investigations. Those soldiers had a direct impact on finding a drug tunnel and 15 tons of marijuana in early November