The White House says National Guard troops, assigned to beef up security along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, will be cut by at least half next year and the remainder will be reassigned, Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter tells The Washington Times. The administration blames budget cuts.I'm glad they mentioned the Washington Times.
That's a pathetically lame excuse when the 1,200 guard troops deployed in 2010 have demonstrated their effectiveness.
Homeland Security officials report that since the arrival of the National Guard, border arrests have dropped considerably, from 447,731 in fiscal year 2010 to 327,577 in 2011.
Know what else the Washington Times says about the National Guard troops? Take a look:
Mr. Obama deployed 1,200 guard troops to the border in June 2010 in an effort to bolster the U.S. Border Patrol and try to prevent the growing drug violence in Mexico from spilling into the U.S.So he extended their deployment? Wow, the braintrust didn't say that!
He charged the guard with aiding in intelligence gathering and other backup duties, though troops have not been actually enforcing immigration laws.
The troops were scheduled to be drawn down this June, but Mr. Obama extended their deployment, saying there was still work to be done.
The troops were meant to be a bridge to beef up support staffing while the Border Patrol hired more agents under a bill Congress passed early in his term.
A Homeland Security Department official said they have made progress in hiring and training new agents.
There were supposed to be nearly 21,500 agents in the Border Patrol as of Oct. 1, which represents an increase of 1,300 since Mr. Obama took control of the budgeting process in 2009. [Emphasis added.]
And it was temporary support while the Border Patrol hired more agents??? The Braintrust didn't say that, either!
But what's really what's going on here? There's this from the White House itself, announcing the plan:
And as part of his comprehensive plan to secure the Southwest border, President Obama will request $500 million in supplemental funds for enhanced border protection and law enforcement activities. The President will also deploy up to an additional, requirements-based 1,200 National Guard troops to the border to provide intelligence; surveillance and reconnaissance support; intelligence analysis; immediate support to counternarcotics enforcement; and training capacity until Customs and Border Patrol can recruit and train additional officers and agents to serve on the border. Funds will be utilized to enhance technology at the border, share information and support with State, Local, and Tribal law enforcement, and increase DoJ and DHS presence and law enforcement activities at the border, to include increased agents, investigators, and prosecutors, as part of a multi-layered effort to target illicit networks trafficking in people, drugs, illegal weapons, and money. [Emphasis added.]Now we go back to the Washington Post:
Mr. Hunter said the pending cuts are another reason Congress and President Obama should revisit the automatic defense spending reductions that kicked in with the failure last month of the deficit supercommittee.That's what this is about. The automatic cuts that are triggered by the failure of that supercommittee to reach a budget agreement are now getting too close for the Defense hawks' comfort.
So Scaife's braintrust spins the reduction of the Guard's presence on the border into something it's not.
It's Monday so the Braintrust is misleading you. Get used to it.