Saturday, July 15, 2006

The National Guard and the Border

The National Guard presence is much more obvious today than yesterday. This morning at the coffee shop (Gadsden Coffee/Aribac Cafe owned by Tom Shook) there were two National Guardsmen, one woman and one man. Both were from upstate New York. The woman had never been to Arizona before. She had, however, been to Iraq a place with a similar climate. There was also an Israeli photo journalist there working for the Independent in London. He was trying to negotiate getting photographs of the National Guard in action. The woman National Guardsman kept asking him questions about the current situation in Israel and he was very evasive. At anyrate it appears that the National Guard has been here about a week. They said, they will be here for a few more weeks until the Border Patrol has trained enough new people to take care of the border themselves. Right now there are alot more National Guardsmen in town than Border Patrol officers.

On my way from the coffee shop to the library I was passed by ten military humvees transporting National Guardsmen and one military truck. When I walked from the library to the post-office I noticed that three humvees complete with National Guardsmen sporting automatic rifles had taken up a permanent position a few feet west of La Gitana. I am not sure what they are guarding against in that location. Maybe they decided to stop there because it has some shade trees.


Unknown said...

This sounds a little more serious than just "border patrol".

Susan Barnes said...

I presume the National Guard is trying to stop people coming from or through Mexico and entering the US without a visa?

J. Otto Pohl said...

Vanessa and Susan the National Guard is on the US border to assist the Border Patrol. They can not according to the National Guardsman who was at the coffee shop detain people themselves. They have to call the Border Patrol.