Guard troops on the border in ArizonaPosted: Updated:
The wait is finally over, additional national guard troops began their deployment to the Arizona border Monday.
The deployment comes more than two weeks since President Obama signed the $600 million Border Security Bill.
More than 30 national guard troops reported to their posts Monday, after weeks of training in the Tucson sector. "They're going to be out there looking at these sites doing what they can to help us out being our extra eyes and ears in the field," said U.S. Border Patrol agent, Colleen Agle. "We're going to use it strategically and maximize that resource."
It's all part of President Obama's border protection plan, which will have 532 troops patrolling southern Arizona by the end of October.
It's a plan that's received a lot of criticism from lawmakers who call it a start, but not enough. "I believe that it is helpful, but it falls far short of what we really need," said Pinal County Sheriff, Paul Babeu.
Still border patrol is seeing a difference. "We've seen a quite a significant decrease, with the number of different agents that we've got in the Tucson sector, as well as the the additional resources that we've deployed, including the national guard troops, we've seen a significant decrease in our traffic," Agle added.
The administration also insists these new troops coupled with advanced technology has made the border more secure than ever. "Numbers don't lie," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. "And the statistics that need to go up, are going up, and the statistics that need to go down, are going down."
Even so, local sheriff's offices will take the extra help wherever they can get it. "Any additional resource in Santa Cruz County will be very helpful," said Santa Cruz Sheriff Tony Estrada.
The troops will help Customs and Border Protection with intelligence and entry identification.
But officials are tight-lipped about where the troops will be posted. "We do have to be careful about giving up all their sites," said Agle.
That's for border patrol to know and illegal immigrants to find out.
Those guard troops will also be getting some help in the air. Monday Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also announced unmanned aerial flights from Texas to California will start this Wednesday.
It was also announced Monday that more than 3,000 Mexican federal police have been fired. That announcement was made by the Federal Police Commissioner in Mexico City.
They were fired for poor performance or for links to corruption and drug cartels. Out of 3,200 officers out of a job, 465 face criminal charges.
Also on the border, authorities are investigating the assassination of the mayor in Hidalgo Mexico. That city is in the border state of Tamaulipas, next to Texas.
It's the same state where more than 70 immigrants were massacred last week. According to the state run news agency, the mayor was shot and killed in front of his daughter, who was also injured in the attack.