National Guard soldiers Trump sent to border are shoveling manure, changing flat tires: report

National Guard soldiers Trump sent to border are shoveling manure, changing flat tires: report
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The National Guard troops that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE sent to the U.S.–Mexico border in April are performing menial tasks to assist U.S. Border Patrol.

A soldier told Politico on Thursday that they have been feeding Border Patrol's horses and shoveling manure.

Sgt. Jonathan Sanchez, a cook, told the outlet that he often does maintenance on Border Patrol’s vehicles.

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“We fix flats,” Sanchez said.

Other tasks include clearing out vegetation, repairing Border Patrol facilities, working as office clerks or operating a complex network of security and remote camera systems. 

“Most have never run a surveillance system like this,” Staff Sgt. Thomas Cider told Politico.

Trump signed an executive memorandum in April directing Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisUS leaves dozens of 'high value' ISIS detainees behind amid Syria retreat: report White House officials stand by Syria withdrawal, sanctions delay amid bipartisan pushback Sunday shows — Officials rush to Trump's defense on Syria, sanctions MORE to bolster the Department of Homeland Security’s effort to combat “a drastic surge of illegal activity on the southern border.”

In May, the Pentagon approved an additional request from DHS to send more than 700 National Guard troops to assist Border Patrol. They joined the 1,100 members already stationed along the Southern border.

Mattis approved as many as 4,000 troops to be deployed to the border, none of which are armed.

According to Politico, the troops are kept at a safer distance than previous troops.

In order to keep them safe, National Guard troops are not permitted to patrol or participate in detainment operations for migrants crossing the border, officials told the outlet.

Late last month, the president of the labor union representing Border Patrol agents criticized Trump's deployment, calling it a “colossal waste of resources.”

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said last month that they have “seen no benefit” from the National Guard presence.