US Troops Headed to Mexican Border
National Guard presence to be especially strong in Arizona
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2010 4:30 AM CDT
In this May 31, 2006, file photo, a US Border Patrol Agent apprehends two undocumented aliens along the international border in Nogales, Ariz., as a group gathers along the fence in Nogales, Mexico.   (AP Photo/Matt York, File)
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(Newser) – National Guard troops are headed to the Mexican border next month to beef up security along the border fence. As part of President Obama's new border plan, the 1,200 troops will spend a year in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, where they'll help border patrol agents monitor and prevent illegal border crossings, CNN reports. The troops will be a gap-filler while the border patrol hires and trains additional staff.

While the troops will be armed, "the rules for the use of force will be well-coordinated, and they're the same as our counternarcotics teams that are there now—for self-preservation only, self-defense only," the head of the National Guard said. The deployment is "placing a particular emphasis on the Tucson sector in Arizona, an area favored by smugglers and the principal point of illegal entry," a Homeland Security official said.