natl guard troops to leave border patrol on july 15

natl guard troops to leave border patrol on july 15from ap: The thousands of National Guardsmen sent to reinforce the U.S.-Mexican border two years ago have almost completely withdrawn, despite pleas from border-state governors once skeptical of using soldiers to catch illegal immigrants and drug smugglers.

When the Guard was posted along the southern frontier in 2006 to help the strapped Border Patrol, critics warned that sending soldiers would be an insult to Mexico and that innocents could get shot by troops trained for combat, not law enforcement

But none of that happened, and now those worries have given way to fears that a bloody drug-cartel war on the Mexican side will spill into the U.S. and overwhelm the Border Patrol

The Border Patrol said the National Guard force, which reached a peak of 6,000 before diminishing last year, bought it enough time to hire and train more agents. The patrol expressed confidence that it can hold the line on its own.

“We’re fine taking over. It’s all part of our plan,” said Border Patrol spokesman Lloyd Easterling.