The White House and Homeland Security are changing their strategy on the Mexican border starting in January. While there have been approximately 1200 troops stationed on the border to monitor drug-related violence from Mexico and crime, that is about to change.
The U.S. is cutting the number of National Guard troops that patrol the border and implementing, instead, a plan with other surveillance. According to a statement from the departments of Homeland Security and Defense, the efforts show
“a new strategic approach” which will include “a number of new multi-purpose aerial assets equipped with the latest surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.”
As they continued in their statement,
“The air assets will reduce enforcement response time, enabling Border Patrol officers to quickly move from one location to another on short notice to meet emerging threats of illegal activity or incursion.”
The aircraft will be in place by March 1, according to the statement.
While the plans show a shift away from personnel manning the area to technology helping to do so, it also shows a reflection of the positive changes on the ground. In the fiscal year which ended September 30th, the number of border apprehensions was 340,252. This was a 53% reduction from the numbers just three years earlier.