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December 06, 2011

National Guard at U.S. Border Are Getting Results . . . Which Are Used As An Excuse to Withdraw Them

In 2006 and again in 2008, in response to increased violence and drug- and people-trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border, President Bush sent 6,000 National Guard troops to supplement the Border Patrol. It worked. Violence is raging in Mexico, but it dropped dramatically on our side of the fence. And border-crossing is at an all time low.*

Of course, the Washington Post's William Booth doesn't see cause and effect here. He sees an opportunity to return the border to the same state it was in pre-Guard deployment:

Though there has been a spectacular surge in gruesome killings in Mexico, where more than 43,000 have died in drug violence since late 2006, there is little evidence of spillover into the United States.

The National Guard is working the border at a time when arrests of illegal crossers have fallen to historic lows and the number of Border Patrol agents has soared.

There are now 18,152 Border Patrol agents stationed along the southwestern border, up from 9,100 in 2001. Apprehensions of illegal crossers have fallen by two-thirds, from a high of 1.6 million in 2000 to 447,731 last year. This year’s tally is expected to be lower still, reaching levels not seen since the early 1970s.

Note the mathematics sleight-of-hand. Instead of a more reasonable, and informative, comparison of Border Patrol agents since 2006 or 2008, when the National Guard had to be called in because of out-of-control violence, WaPo stretches all the way back to cite the pre-9/11, pre-REAL ID Act numbers. This is unpardonably deceptive. It's advocacy, not journalism.

Buried in the article is a note that the members of congress from the states in questions and the Obama Administration all want to continue the Guard deployment and will likely do so into 2012. Unlike Booth, they can see success when it's staring them in the face.

*This can't be solely linked to the National Guard presence. We're seeing net negative migration in alien populations for the past two years, largely owing to the economy.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 07:26 AM

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