PHOENIX (AP) - The first of 532 National Guard troops are set to begin their mission in the southern Arizona desert on Monday under President Barack Obama's plan to beef up U.S.-Mexico border security, although they won't have any law enforcement authority.
About 30 troops will start their jobs on the border Monday, and waves of more troops will be deploying every Monday until all 532 are expected to be on the Arizona border by the end of September.
Arizona National Guard spokesman Lt. Valentine Castillo says the troops will be "extra eyes and ears" for U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.
He says the troops will have guns for self-defense, but they will not have the authority to arrest anyone themselves; if they spot illegal immigrants, they must report them to the Border Patrol.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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