MSbrief #1 -Miss.Guard-Immigr 05-17 0228

Miss. National Guard not involved in border patrols

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) The Mississippi National Guard soldiers will not be deployed to shore up the U.S.-Mexico border, local officials said.

State Adj. Gen. Harold Cross “has spoken with the National Guard Bureau,” Lt. Col. Tim Powell said Tuesday. “The Mississippi National Guard will not be affected by the border security mission because Mississippi is considered a hurricane state.”

Mississippi has more than 12,000 people in its National Guard. All but about 300 of the thousands from the state who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are back home. Powell said the Guard is now focused on preparing for hurricane season, which begins next month, in case “God forbid,” the state gets hit again.

Bush administration plans to deploy thousands of National Guard troops along the border have been getting mixed reviews, with members of Congress questioning whether it would strain a force stretched thin by wars and natural disasters.

Pentagon officials have insisted the decision to use up to 6,000 Guard members to help secure the porous 2,000-mile border will not overtax the guard or impair troops’ ability to train or prepare for combat.