Wednesday, March 12, 2008


National Guard To Be Pulled From Border Patrol

The state said there will be a six month gap of vulnerability at the border when feds pull National Guard troops.

State homeland security said the National Guard on the border will leave in July, six months earlier than expected. Officials said border agents won’t take over until December at the earliest, leaving more than 180 miles of border virtually unwatched.

The original plan was to have the National Guard watch the border until 6,000 new agents could be properly trained.

Border patrol officials said that won’t happen until December, but state officials said that’s not stopping the feds from pulling the plug early.

State officials said the feds are not saying what’s behind the early withdrawal of guard troops from across the country.

The state said the withdrawal leaves the New Mexico border vulnerable.

"We'll create a window where the smugglers and the cartels and the border criminals may try and take advantage of," said Tim Manning of New Mexico Homeland Security.

Homeland security said heavy patrols and new fencing in Arizona and Texas means there will be a funneling effect of immigrants and smugglers into New Mexico.