Several thousand of U.S. National Guard troops were deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border ahead of large migrant caravans in 2018 due to the growing number of immigration at the southern border, and the numbers are showing that those service members made a huge impact.
The troops were deployed to the southern border to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Border Patrol agents in stopping illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
The CBP revealed that in the fiscal year 2018, the National Guard troops made an enormous difference in helping to curb illegal immigration as they’ve helped arrest 23,034 immigrants trying to cross into the U.S. illegally — those arrested were considered “deplorable” noncitizens, according to the Examiner.
Additionally, the service members helped halt over 35,000 pounds of drugs, including 47 pounds of heroin, 526 pounds of methamphetamine, and 18 pounds of cocaine from coming across the southern border.
While the troops aren’t able to apprehend people, they were able to help in other ways such as surveillance backup, infrastructure at the border and road maintenance, flying helicopters, and border wall construction.
One service member, in particular, serving at the southern border was Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) who deployed for two weeks with his Air National Guard troop in Tucson, Arizona, as IJR Red reported.
Veteran Kinzinger said he “fights to make our national security stronger, our border more secure, and our communities safer.”
“When drugs come into Arizona, they end up in Illinois,” Kinzinger said of his fourth deployment at the southern border. “To protect this country from, frankly, all the drugs that are coming over, is awesome.”