U.S. Park Rangers being sent to southwest border to assist immigration agents

U.S. Park Service rangers are being dispatched to the southwest border in order to bolster federal immigration enforcement efforts, reports on Monday said.

The order from President Trump comes as House Democrats refuse to introduce legislation that would finance his border protection plan.

The administration is sending rangers in Arizona and Texas to the border, according to USA Today. National Park Service officials said the rangers could be rotating in for two-week details until September 2020.

President Trump is seeking $18.2 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the coming fiscal year, up from $15 billion last year. Included in this year’s funding request is $5 billion for border wall construction.

House Democrats have balked on funding new sections of border wall, however. Earlier this year, their opposition led to a five-week government shutdown.

Trump signed a stopgap funding measure last week that was approved by the Senate to keep the federal government operating through Dec. 20.

Robert Bushell, assistant chief patrol agent for the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector in Arizona, said park rangers helped arrest 1,195 migrants for illegal border crossings and other crimes last year.

Rangers also seized 720 pounds of marijuana and 120 pounds of methamphetamine, he told USA Today.

“It is an awesome partnership and these guys are really sharp,” Bushnell said. “That’s a big reason why we continue to ask for their support.”

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