Immigration

Trump’s Border Troops Are Still Clearing Brush

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Some Democratic governors have recalled the National Guard service members who were deployed to the southern border last year at the request of Trump, but those service members are not being pulled away from duties that necessarily warranted their deployment in the first place.

Local southwestern media outlets reported last year that members of the National Guard were more or less serving as glorified groundskeepers, but many are still acting in that capacity according to the Washington Post. Some are also being asked to stock shelves.

In Yuma, about 100 guardsmen are performing ancillary tasks for CBP — clearing brush, fixing machinery, stocking foodstuffs and monitoring surveillance cameras at the sector headquarters. The idea is to free up border agents previously assigned to those duties so that they can instead apprehend and process migrants. [...]

“Guard. Boom. Here we are,” says Tech. Sgt. Dan Broughton, a 36-year-old member of the West Virginia Air National Guard, who after four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan is monitoring cameras and sensors in the sector’s surveillance room.

Now staffed by about half guardsmen and half civilian employees, the room no longer has border agents behind the monitors because they were moved to front-line law enforcement roles.

In a supply room across the parking lot, guardsmen surrounded by diapers, bottles, baby formula, emergency blankets, cheese crackers and Cup Noodles have come up with a trolley-cart system to save border agents time while distributing goods to detained migrants.

Closer to the border, [Staff Sgt. Chris Cazares] is overseeing about 17 guardsmen on the “vegetation team,” which is clearing brush along a part of the Colorado River that forms the border with Mexico for seven miles.

Not to be confused with active duty service members who are being asked to deploy razor wire along the border, these National Guard service members have already been deployed to the border for nearly a year at a significant cost for the services they're providing.

Distributing diapers and noodles to immigrants who were recently apprehended is important, but the National Guard is being used as a crutch to cover deficiencies in immigration policy and orders from the White House. The Border Patrol and other immigration services are as well funded today as they've ever been but that can't make up for managerial incompetence and executive-level dysfunction. The Trump regime simply has them chasing too many ghosts.

If National Guard service members being recalled from the border in New Mexico and California does not result in any meaningful change to the Border Patrol's operations, that could be proof that their deployment was never necessary.

  • muselet

    There are two things Donald Trump is good at: self-promotion and burning through other people’s money.

    This border deployment is a twofer.

    –alopecia

  • katanahamon

    Maybe they should read up on the dust bowl, go consult with some environmental experts first before they damage the ecosystem. Very often extremely dry climates/regions are easily damaged and take much longer to recover. Then again, what do experts know…

    • stacib23

      Drinking early, huh. 😂 You mentioned THIS administration and consulting environmentalist. Like that would ever happen.