U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday that members of the California National Guard had arrived along the U.S.-Mexico border to assist in border protection duties.
“Today, as part of Operation Guardian Support, CBP officials at ports of entry along the California border with Mexico welcomed 24 California National Guard personnel,” CBP said in a statement. “Operation Guardian Support (OGS) includes the deployment of National Guard troops to the Port of San Diego, and the San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, Tecate, and Calexico ports of entry.”
The deployment is part of President Donald Trump’s authorization for up to 4,000 National Guard troops to assist CBP in defending the nation’s border against drug trafficking, human trafficking and to prevent migrants from entering the country illegally.
The support of the National Guard will enable CBP to increase its multi-layered approach to border security and allow CBP officers to focus on law enforcement efforts of securing the border against all threats – drugs, weapons, illegal aliens, and possible terrorists.
“The purpose is to accelerate improvements to border security through the support of the National Guard as CBP hires, trains and equips additional CBP officers,” said CBP.
The Department of Defense is supporting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with National Guard personnel operating under title 32 U.S.C. § 502. Under this authority, National Guard personnel may support operations or missions requested by the President or the Secretary of Defense. In this case, the National Guard is operating in support of DHS pursuant to the order of the President. In Title 32 status, the National Guard is ordered to duty by their respective state governors and remain under their command and control.
“The contribution of the National Guard will undoubtedly improve our effectiveness at the ports of entry by enabling those officers to focus on enforcement activities,” said Pete Flores, CBP Director of field operations for San Diego. “We look forward to working collaboratively to further our national security mission.”