National Guard troops off the US-Mexico border June 30

This slipped out during congressional testimony Monday:

Nine months after President Obama agreed to pay for emergency deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops along the southwest border, plans are in place to withdraw the reinforcements — including 285 National Guard troops in Texas.

The Obama administration’s decision is sparking bipartisan congressional concern over border security amid fears of spill over violence from unrelenting gangland-style bloodshed south of the border that has claimed more than 30,000 lives over the past five years.

The scheduled draw down by June 30 was disclosed during House members’ questioning of Obama administration witnesses appearing before the House Homeland Security Committee’s panel on border and maritime security. …

National Guard troops “were always intended to be a stop-gap measure until we could deploy another 1,000 Border Patrol agents,” McCaul told the Houston Chronicle. But the 20,000-strong U.S. Border Patrol has not hired and trained enough agents to replace the departing National Guard troops, the lawmaker cautioned.

“Congress approved hiring these new agents last August,” McCaul said. “It is unacceptable that seven months later the chief of the Border Patrol still cannot tell us how many agents he has hired and when they will be in position.”

Michael Fisher, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, said his agents would most likely replace National Guard troops who have served on entry identification teams positioned on high terrain to watch for illegal border crossings by northbound undocumented immigrants and drug traffickers.

“That (mission) will now be done by U.S. Border Patrol if required,” Fisher told the panel.



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