SAN DIEGO - More than 100 National Guard troops are now officially backing up Border Patrol agents in San Diego.
The 108 troops started training on May 9 and will take on non-enforcement support roles freeing up agents to do field work. They will fill communications specialists, camera operators, vehicle mechanics, intelligence analysts, administration clerks and range safety officers.
"The support of the National Guard will allow Border Patrol agents on detailed assignments to return to the field to focus their law enforcement efforts on securing the border by preventing terrorists and their weapons from entering the United States between official U.S. Customs and Border Protection ports of entry," Border Patrol officials stated Tuesday.
In April, President Donald Trump called of the governors of southwestern states to send National Guardsmen to the U.S. - Mexico border to assist the Border Patrol.
California Governor Jerry Brown complied with the order with the exception that state troops would not enforce immigration laws or help to build the border wall.
Joshua Williams, with National Border Patrol Council, the union representing agents, said the troops are a welcome addition.
“More of my brothers to my left and my right the safer I am and the more likely I am to go home at the end of my shift,” said Williams.
Williams said nationwide the Border Patrol is dealing with staffing shortage.
Officials at CBP told Fox 5 recruitment and training is a consistent effort to strengthen forces here in San Diego.