U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have apprehended an additional 1,600 people attempting to illegally enter the country from Mexico since April 15 as a result of the deployment of National Guard troops to the southwest border, CBP and defense officials said Wednesday. The increased surveillance and communication between guardsmen and border officers also led to CBP intercepting an additional 451 people who were turned back before illegally entering the U.S.
Those numbers could tick up considerably if the 4,000 National Guard troops President Trump approved on April 4 are called on in a future request from CBP. As of Wednesday, 775 troops have been deployed and are on the ground providing “direct support on the ground” in seven sectors assisting law enforcement officers.
The defense official said the Department of Homeland Security Wednesday will request about 700 additional National Guardsmen plus helicopters and other equipment. Defense Secretary James Mattis is expected to review the request and respond to DHS on Thursday.