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The National Guard will keep up to 300 troops along the United States-Mexico border for another year, the department announced Thursday.

In the release, the Department of Defense said the extended deployment is to "strengthen security and facilitate legitimate trade and travel."

The troops operate in cooperation with the estimated 18,500 U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents along the border.

It is believed that the troops have been directly responsible for the arrest of 20,000 suspected illegal immigrants and the seizure of more than 100,000 lbs. of marijuana since March.

KTAR Newsroom,

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