Border Patrol agents to guard troops

Aug. 17, 2006 at 1:28 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents are now required to protect National Guard troops deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border, The Washington Times reports.

The National Guard troops were sent to relieve Border Patrol agents but they need protection since they are not allowed to carry loaded weapons, reports the Times.

The newspaper said Border Patrol agents in Arizona have been issued standing orders to be within five minutes of National Guard troops along the border. The report said Border Patrol units have been pulled from other regions for bodyguard service, leaving those regions short-handed.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman told the Times the Guard units do not have enforcement authority but only to report illegal entries to the Border Patrol.

Border Patrol agents told the Times they call their new duty "the nanny patrol," which, the report says, comes despite the growing border violence against Border Patrol agents and other personnel.

There are 6,200 Guard troops deployed along the border from California to Texas.

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