SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Border towns react to possible troop deployment

As President Trump considers deploying ...

Posted: Apr 7, 2018 1:57 PM
Updated: Apr 7, 2018 1:57 PM

As President Trump considers deploying between 2,000 and 4,000 National Guard troops to the US-Mexican border, residents and law enforcement officials in border towns say they have mixed feelings about the news.

While some welcome the support from the federal government, others feel it'd be a waste of resources.

Here's what some of them told CNN.

'It's not going to change anything'

Each night, citizen journalist Priscilla Villarreal takes to the streets of Laredo, Texas, to livestream footage of car accidents and crime scenes over Facebook for her audience.

As a woman who's familiar with her community -- and the dark underbelly that sometimes rears its head in the late hours -- she's confident sending more troops to the border is futile.

"In all honesty, I don't think sending extra security to our borders is going to solve anything," Villarreal, also known as a 'LaGordiloca,' told CNN against the backdrop of flashing police lights. She was at the scene of a car crash, and the vehicle, she said, had been carrying undocumented immigrants. It's common sight in Laredo, Villarreal said.

The President said Thursday he was considering sending the National Guard to assist in border security, a move that would be in line with actions taken by both of his predecessors.

His comments come as a caravan of migrants makes its way through central America, with some of them bound for the US border.

"We're used to all this," Villarreal said, before stressing that she's never felt unsafe in Laredo, which she called "a very safe, tight knit community."

For her part, Villarreal says she believes local law enforcement agencies and the US Border Patrol can handle whatever immigrants are crossing the border. "We have enough authority in town to cover whatever's happening in our town," she told CNN.

Trump's announcement has gotten the attention of many Laredo residents, Villarreal said. Some think an influx of troops won't bring change to the city, and believe it's a waste of federal money. But, she added, "There's a lot of Trump supporters in Laredo that disagree."

'We trust our President'

Hector Garza, a spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council union near Laredo, points out that the border patrol is about 2,000 agents short of its congressionally mandated minimum.

He and his union -- which represents about 18,000 agents, according to its website, and endorsed the President in the 2016 election -- will take any help it can get.

"Anything that will support border patrol agents in their operations, we welcome it from President Trump," Garza said. Garza said troops could support the agents by providing manpower and resources, particularly when it comes to surveillance operations along the border.

But as things stand right now, he said, it's impossible for border agents to continue doing their jobs effectively without the proper manpower. The money, Garza said, would be well spent.

"We are very confident that under this military deployment that Trump has talked about that it's going to be done in an efficient manner that will help our border patrol agents and the American public," he said.

The Trump administration and the Department of Homeland Security have yet to answer questions about how much a military deployment would cost, but deployments by Presidents Bush and Obama combined cost more than $1.3 billion.

"It is a lawless part of the border," Garza added. "When we have 50 people getting across in one hour, undetected, and they successfully come into our country, that's a lawless border."

Sheriff says it's a waste of money

Sheriff Tom Schmerber has been sheriff of Maverick County, Texas, north of Laredo, for six years now, but spent most of his career as a border patrol agent.

Back then, he sometimes worked side by side with military personnel who were stationed on the border. But that kind of support is no longer needed, Schmerber told CNN. "Everything has changed."

Residents of his county, Schmerber said, are safe thanks to the efforts of border patrol and local law enforcement.

"I think that the border patrol are well-trained, well-equipped," he said. "I don't think we need the military here at the border."

Schmerber said he believes the money spent could be better utilized by local sheriffs' offices along the border. They're typically understaffed, and lack the necessary technology to effectively monitor border crossings.

"We need a lot of equipment," he said, pointing to cameras that could monitor the Rio Grande, or a drone that his deputies could monitor from the office, instead of roaming around. "Technology is what we need right now."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 60898

Reported Deaths: 1698
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin19271835
Ramsey7572265
Dakota4414106
Anoka3683114
Stearns289320
Washington212845
Nobles17646
Olmsted173223
Scott155919
Mower11012
Rice10328
Blue Earth9185
Wright8845
Carver8613
Clay78440
Sherburne7238
Kandiyohi6961
St. Louis55319
Todd4262
Lyon4253
Freeborn3591
Steele3482
Nicollet33713
Benton3203
Watonwan3080
Winona26116
Beltrami2400
Crow Wing23514
Le Sueur2201
Martin2075
Chisago2011
Goodhue1969
Otter Tail1943
McLeod1810
Cottonwood1780
Becker1571
Pipestone1579
Polk1534
Waseca1480
Itasca14712
Douglas1441
Carlton1370
Unassigned13441
Pine1290
Dodge1270
Isanti1250
Murray1221
Chippewa1041
Morrison921
Wabasha920
Brown892
Faribault870
Jackson860
Meeker852
Rock850
Sibley832
Koochiching773
Pennington751
Cass722
Mille Lacs713
Renville645
Fillmore630
Lincoln580
Grant553
Swift531
Roseau520
Yellow Medicine520
Pope480
Houston420
Aitkin401
Norman400
Kanabec361
Redwood360
Wilkin343
Hubbard330
Marshall290
Mahnomen271
Wadena270
Red Lake240
Big Stone220
Lake210
Stevens180
Clearwater140
Traverse110
Lac qui Parle70
Cook50
Kittson30
Lake of the Woods20

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48781

Reported Deaths: 929
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10309207
Woodbury371952
Black Hawk312766
Linn237588
Johnson209619
Dallas188535
Buena Vista179412
Scott171814
Dubuque167631
Marshall144426
Pottawattamie132526
Story116614
Wapello90033
Muscatine84748
Webster8017
Crawford7283
Sioux6343
Cerro Gordo62517
Warren5641
Tama55129
Jasper47826
Wright4721
Plymouth4629
Clinton3973
Dickinson3814
Louisa37814
Washington29810
Boone2583
Hamilton2461
Franklin24110
Bremer2267
Clarke2013
Carroll1921
Emmet1924
Clay1901
Shelby1841
Hardin1810
Des Moines1792
Marion1730
Poweshiek1598
Benton1561
Jackson1561
Allamakee1554
Floyd1552
Mahaska13917
Cedar1331
Guthrie1325
Jones1302
Buchanan1271
Henry1254
Hancock1222
Butler1212
Madison1212
Pocahontas1152
Lee1143
Lyon1132
Delaware1121
Humboldt1111
Cherokee1081
Harrison1071
Clayton1043
Taylor980
Iowa971
Winneshiek971
Page940
Kossuth910
Monona910
Mills890
Sac850
Jefferson840
Palo Alto840
Winnebago840
Calhoun832
Osceola830
Fayette820
Grundy791
Mitchell780
Union771
Cass741
Monroe737
Lucas684
Worth660
Montgomery594
Davis572
Chickasaw540
Appanoose493
Howard490
Fremont420
Greene410
Van Buren371
Keokuk351
Adair300
Ida290
Audubon281
Decatur230
Ringgold221
Wayne191
Adams160
Unassigned60
Rochester
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 69°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 70°
Albert Lea
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 73°
Austin
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 73°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 72°
Storm chances End, Cooler & Less Humid Ahead
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Diversity Council hosts 'Allies and Advocates'

Image

More construction in downtown Rochester starts

Image

NIACC baseball pushing athletes to the next level

Image

Sunday weather

Image

Weather

Image

Rochester Area Restore celebrates 6 years

Image

Saturday Weather

Image

Grief mask making workshop

Image

Mace's Weather 8/8

Image

Tractor pullers excited to rev up their engines in 2020

Community Events