More Troops Could Come to the Border
By Marielena Castellanos
Last year in November when Border Patrol agents threw tear gas at migrants, and military helicopters swooped low over the streets of San Ysidro as the border was shut down. San Ysidro resident Adrian Samano said, “I’ve never seen nothing like this before,” while standing on the Camino de la Plaza bridge with a friend.
Around the same time, military troops were placing barbed wire along the border fence from the San Ysidro Port of Entry out to the beach and along the entrances into and out of the border.
Now the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is considering additional military assistance at the U.S-Mexico border and may potentially deploy additional personnel to help reinforce existing barrier areas.
The move comes as new reports surface of dwindling numbers of migrants at the main shelter in Tijuana.
President Trump continues to claim that there is a crisis at the border, but many have criticized Trump, saying his rhetoric is politically motivated to galvanize his base.
Trump has argued that millions are crossing into the United States illegally from Mexico, but a recent report from the Associated Press said that visa overstays are making up a larger share of illegal immigrants in the country, more than the number of people who cross the border without proper documentation.
The President also claims a wall will stop drugs from being smuggled into the country illegally. A report from the Arizona Daily Star found data from his own administration shows the rising number of smuggled drugs are seized at legal ports of entry.
More than 5,000 active duty soldiers were deployed to the border last October to assist the Border Patrol and the National Guard in anticipation of the migrant caravan.
A recent report from CNN says the cost for active duty troops at the border will reach $132 million by the end of the month. The same report says U.S. Defense Officials estimate the cost of the National Guard deployment to be $308 million by the end of September.
There are currently just over 2,000 active duty military personnel assigned to the southern border, whose border mission is scheduled to end this month. The National Guard mission that currently has another assigned 2,000 troops is scheduled to end at the end of September.