AP Report: Some troops expected to leave southern Arizona border

Some troops allowed to go home

NOGALES, ARIZ. (Tucson News Now/AP) -- U.S. officials say active duty troops will begin leaving the southern U.S. border this week and the number of forces there will go down to at least 3,000 by the holidays, according to an Associated Press report.

There have been roughly 5,400 active duty troops along the border in recent weeks installing razor wire barriers and protecting border patrol agents in southern border states like Arizona.

"I do like them here. Because they're doing their job, I think, which is protecting our border. Especially now that all those people are coming here. We didn't know what to expect," said Azeneth Renteria, who was born and raised in Nogales, Arizona.

Renteria is an employee at a locally-owned Nogales restaurant. She said she's watched local businesses benefit from the presence of troops, including motels and restaurants.

Now she's ready for them to leave.

"I think that's good for them and good for us. Good for them because they're going home. And for us, because I think we're safe," Renteria said.

President Donald Trump ordered the deployment of troops in response to a caravan of Central American migrants moving toward the U.S. border. The number of migrants has been declining and the military has finished much of the wire barrier placement, the AP report stated.

Officials say there is less need for combat engineers and helicopter transport crews. But many of the military police will remain. The officials spoke anonymously because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this article.