The U.S. Department of the Interior confirmed on Monday that the agency will send law enforcement officers to assist with the patrolling effort to secure the U.S. border with Mexico, Breitbart reports.
“President Trump and I are 100 percent committed to keeping our border communities and the American people safe and secure, which is why I’m deploying some of Interior’s law enforcement officers to increase security on the southern border,” Zinke said in a statement released by the agency. “Today’s news is the first of many steps Interior will take to secure the homeland.”
22 officers will be deployed to the border in Texas and Arizona with more planned for the future.
U.S. park police and rangers have traditionally been tasked with protecting people and nature at national parks. But Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will be sending park police officers to the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a show of strength by the Trump administration.
Officers from the U.S. Park Police and the National Park Service will assist the U.S. Border Patrol, starting this Sunday, according to an internal email obtained by The Hill. The officers will be sent in rotating groups, spending about 21 days at a national park and a national monument: the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona and the Amistad National Recreation Area in Texas, The Hill reported.
Jurisdiction and Authority
• DOI has more than 3,500 federal law enforcement officers, many of whom have experience working for or with Customs and Border Patrol.
• DOI manages 40 percent of the land along the southern border and maintains permanent law enforcement capabilities in the region.
• Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument was closed to the public for more than a decade due to violence related to illegal border crossings and drug cartels. Working with CBP, the Interior Department built fences and barriers on Organ Pipe in addition to surveillance platforms which significantly reduced the flow of illegal immigrants.
U.S. Park Police (USPP) Planning Unit and National Park Service (NPS), stated that officers from both agencies will assist the Border Patrol along the southwest border starting May 13.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.