NM governor orders National Guard to border

Associated Press Modified: March 31, 2010 at 3:59 pm •  Published: March 31, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico National Guard is planning how to put more troops along the state's border with Mexico to beef up surveillance after Gov. Bill Richardson on Wednesday ordered guardsmen to patrol the area.

The order came days after an Arizona rancher was shot to death. Authorities believe he was killed last weekend by an illegal immigrant who fled to Mexico.

Details are being worked out for how many troops will be sent to the border and where they will be based.

A spokesman for the New Mexico Guard, Lt. Col. Jamison Herrera, said the timeframe and scope of the operation will determine how many soldiers will be activated.

Their focus will be observation posts and using infrared tools that can detect body heat and movement during the night, he said.

A spokesman for Richardson, Gilbert Gallegos, said troops will not be apprehending immigrants.

In 2005, then-President George W. Bush ordered 6,000 National Guard troops to New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and California to help the Border Patrol cut illegal immigration. Troops were deployed in observation posts along the border until Border Patrol ranks were beefed up.

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