A week after Trump first declared that we'll be sending more National Guard service members to the border, we finally have some idea of what they'll be asked to do.
Among a limited list of other duties, the Washington Post reports that they'll serve as glorified grounds-keepers.
National Guard troops will provide air support through drones and light-, medium- and heavy-lift helicopters, Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Defense Department spokesman, said in a statement to The Washington Post. They will also help maintain roads and other infrastructure, clear vegetation and assist with facility maintenance, in addition to operating surveillance systems, including cameras and blimps, Davis said.
They will not be arresting migrants or carrying out armed patrols along the border.
After initially agreeing to deploy just 400 service members, Arizona and Texas both increased their number of deployments yesterday evening. Both state governments have said the deployment will "stem the flow" of drugs and immigrants, but it seems incredibly unlikely to me that this will have any material impact.
Judging by their list of duties, it's doubtful that a significant number of them will even be stationed directly on the border. Drones, helicopters, and blimps are not flown from the 2-yard line and many facilities that may require a grounds-keeper are not located on the border.
This may be news to many people, but a significant number of border checkpoints are not actually located directly on the border. Checkpoints can be found within 100 miles of the border. The actual border is mostly an empty desert dotted by border cities and towns that are barely a blip along the 1,900 mile zone.