The international border cuts through Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, rear, and Nogales, Ariz., as seen from Nogales, Ariz., on April 9. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said 225 members of the state National Guard are heading to the border with Mexico to help the Border Patrol and other federal agencies that help secure the border.
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President Donald Trump has said he will send thousands of U.S. troops to the Mexican border to defend against a caravan of would-be illegal immigrants making their way north to the United States.
As many as 4,000 National Guard troops could soon be on their way to the border, where Mr. Trump has said they will stay and defend the border until the wall he wants there is completed.
Mr. Trump’s move is obviously focused on stemming illegal immigration at the Mexican border, which was one of his most popular campaign promises.
But despite the sight of a caravan of migrants headed toward the United States, the U.S. Border Patrol says the number of people crossing illegally from Mexico is at its lowest point in almost 50 years.
That is not to say the United States does not need more resources, though it is unclear whether National Guardsmen — who are constrained from acting as civilian law enforcement — will be much help.
There are real threats at the border.
Most of the heroin coming into the United States comes in from Mexico. The synthetic drug fentanyl, which is exponentially more powerful and deadly even than heroin, also comes into the U.S. at the Mexican border, though too much of it still is delivered by the U.S. Postal Service when it is shipped from China.
Many human traffickers smuggle their victims into the U.S. at the Mexican border, bringing their victims to this country for labor or sexual exploitation.
And these are threats that affect daily life in northwest Ohio. Toledo has long been known as a hub in human trafficking and Ohio is among the hardest-hit states in the opioid addiction epidemic.
The border patrol has requested more technology to remotely monitor the border and search for tunnels under it. The agency also has said it needs more money and more agents.
The Trump administration has said it wants to hire 5,000 new agents, but the border patrol has trouble filling its ranks. The agency must recruit more than 100 applicants for every qualified agent it can hire.
While the issue of dangers at the border are in the nation’s focus, our leaders must remember to send the resources that authorities there need to make the border and the rest of the nation safer.
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