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INS News Release

February 25, 2002

INS Signs Memorandum of Agreement with Department of Defense

National Guard Troops to Assist INS At Northern and Southern Borders

WASHINGTON  – Through a cooperative arrangement between the Department of Justice and Department of Defense (DOD), the National Guard will assist the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) on the Northern and Southern borders for up to six months.  Specifically, this will include approximately 700 military personnel along the northern and southern borders.  In addition, DOD personnel will provide administrative support and air operations support to the Border Patrol along the northern border.

In light of increased security concerns in response to the recent terrorist attacks, DOD will mobilize, train, and deploy personnel and provide equipment to support INS Inspection operations.  National Guard troops will provide a heightened security presence at all locations they are assigned.  In addition, INS will train troops to perform cargo inspections, traffic management, and pedestrian control.  These functions will be performed under the direct supervision of an INS officer.  DOD personnel will not be armed nor will they provide a task that requires lethal or non-lethal force.

DOD will also mobilize, train, and deploy personnel to assist the Border Patrol through such activities as terrain and trend analysis and assisting with focusing its deployment of resources in areas of serious threat to achieve the greatest impact.  

In addition DOD will provide a limited number of rotary wing aircraft, including aircrew and ground maintenance personnel to support the Border Patrol mission.  Crews will conduct and support basic observation flights in six Border Patrol sectors along the northern border or will transport Border Patrol agents responding to locations of illegal border crossings.

As part of this agreement, INS will provide the necessary funding for DOD support to uphold higher levels of security at the nation’s borders. 

Currently, through the support of the FY 2002 budget and the counter-terrorism supplemental, INS is in the process of preparing to deploy additional permanent resources to improve security along the northern border.

– INS –