The Obama Administration plans to withdraw National Guard troops from the Texas, New Mexico and California borders by the end February under a new Southwest security plan, even as turmoil in Mexican border cities grows, according to documents obtained by The Washington Examiner.
A letter sent to various members of the Texas Congressional delegation from Texas' Gov. Rick Perry's office says, "In February, 2011, the Texas, New Mexico, and California National Guard forces that were deployed to the border in September, 2010, under President's Obama's Southwest Border Augmentation Plan, will have 30 days to complete a total draw down of forces."
The roughly 550 troops will have the month of February to redeploy back to their units, Texas Congressman Ted Poe told The Examiner. Troops would not be pulled off the Arizona border under the plan, and about 100 of the troops would re-deploy there from other states, officials said.
Poe received the letter today. His office confirmed with Department of Homeland Security officials that the plan came from the administration.
"I'm surprised the president would so quickly remove troops from Texas. They're not supposed to leave until July," said Poe.
The congressman recently traveled to Falcon Lake, where the ongoing investigation into the death of American tourist David Hartley's is ongoing. Tiffinay Hartley, 29, reported that her husband had been shot while riding his jet ski.
"It's apparently a plan the Obama administration believes will save money. We don't need fewer National Guard we need more. We need to pass the Border National Guard Border enforcement act that would put 10,000 National Guard on the border," Poe said.
The 286 Texas National Guard covered by the plan have only been fully operational since September and October of this year. They will have spent less than six months conducting operations along the border, an official with the Texas Governor's office said.
Obama's original Southwest border plan would have ended in July, 2011. According to officials familiar with the new initiative the "Administration budgeted only $135 million for the entire deployment."
The funds, which were originally budgeted to those three states, are expected to be reallocated to allow Arizona an additional 100 troops from March through September, 2011 or, "until such time as that money is exhausted," the letter from the governor's office stated.
"This new plan was designed without any input from the States, and without any significant DHS resources being deployed to the border since the beginning of operations," it said.
Poe said there is "no question about it, the federal government should cut back on spending but not national defense."
The letter to Texas lawmakers said, "Even under the new plan their is still no guarantee that Arizona will have their troops until September. In fact, the Administration has made it clear that once the $135 million has been spent, all operations must cease and desist immediately."
The DHS Border and Custom's Protection agency would "restart the ATEP (Alien Transfer and Exit Program) program that brings detained
illegal aliens from other states to Del Rio where they will be released to Mexican officials across the border," according to the
Mexican news outlets have documented a sharp rise in violence, including drug related murders, in cities near the U.S. border.
"Border violence is on the rise," Poe said. "And Washington is incorrect when they say the border is secure."
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