By Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON (12/06/12) – As many as 300 National Guard members will remain deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border for another year as part of a border security partnership between the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, according to a statement released Wednesday by DHS.
The deployment is part of a newly extended agreement to strengthen security and facilitate legitimate trade and travel, the statement said.
National Guard troops operate in support of about 18,500 U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents along the southwest border, enhancing surveillance through the use of air assets and state-of-the-art detection and monitoring capabilities including aerial observation, photo imagery and communications support.
In the statement, DHS credited DOD support for the arrest of nearly 20,000 illegal immigrants and the seizure of more than 100,000 pounds of marijuana since March.
A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said more than 330,000 illegal aliens have been apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border during the first nine months of this year, and more than two million pounds of marijuana and 6,000 pounds of cocaine have been seized.
In 2010, President Barack Obama authorized the temporary deployment of the National Guard along the southwest border to assist law enforcement with the interdiction of illegal aliens, drugs, weapons and money coming from Mexico.