LIVELEAK: National Guard Troops Arrive In Arizona

Arizona Officials React to Arrival of National Guard Troops


TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – The first of 532 National Guards Troops will start
their mission near the Arizona border Monday, as part of President
Barack Obama's national plan to bolster border security.

The first wave of about 30 troops will start their jobs Monday in
Arizona under "Operation Copper Cactus," with more groups coming every
week until the end of September, when all 532 troops are expected to be
fully operational.

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In a teleconference Monday morning, Department of Homeland Security
Secretary Janet Napolitano said the amount of manpower at the border is
unprecedented.

"What we are seeing today is the most serious approach to border
enforcement i have seen in my career," Napolitano said. "There are more
personnel on the southwest border than any point in American history."

But in a written statement, Governor Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.) said the federal government is still not doing enough.

"Despite the mantra by the Obama administration that the border is 'as
secure as ever,' in Arizona both Republicans and Democrats recognize
they have failed. Their failure to date is borne out by the addition of
more federal resources. While the announcement today of the first
group of 33 troops is welcomed, it is not enough," Brewer said.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords reacted to the amount of time that has
elapsed since Obama announced the 1,200 troops he was sending to the
Southwest border as reinforcement.

"It should not have taken this long to get National Guard boots on the
border in Arizona. Like many of my constituents, my reaction can be
summed up in three words: It's about time," Giffords said.

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Lt. Valentine Castillo, a National Guard spokesperson in Phoenix, told
KGUN9 News the troops will primarily support U.S. Border Patrol in entry
identification and criminal intelligence. Serving as "extra eyes and
ears," they will be armed with basic military equipment for
self-defense, but will not have law enforcement authority.

Mario Escalante, a spokesman for Border Patrol's Tucson sector, said
Border Patrol will determine where the troops are most-needed before
setting them up at various locations throughout the border. They will
have binoculars, night-vision equipment, remote cameras and computers to
conduct surveillance.

"They'll be there to observe and report anything that they see to us and
the border patrol can make any interdictions," said Escalante. "They'll
be either near the border or on the border, in clearly visible sight
that not only assist us with surveillance but also provide deterrent to
the people who are thinking about crossing."

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada believes the National Guard
troops should play a supporting role for Border Patrol, which has more
experience when it comes to securing the border.

"Every resource we can possibly get will help," Estrada told KGUN9 News.
"I would hate for them to have any encounters or confrontations with
anyone across the border. That could be dangerous."

In May, Obama ordered 1,200 National Guard troops to beef-up border
security, to be divided among different states along the U.S.-Mexico
border, including Arizona and Texas.

http://www.kgun9.com/global/story.asp?s=13063961


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