In this June 9, 2021, file photo, the sun sets above the U.S.-Mexico border wall, seen in Yuma, Arizona. Credit: Eugene Garcia / AP

Maine National Guard troops will deploy to the Mexican border to help agents with a surge of migrants trying to enter the country.

Around 125 members of the Maine National Guard will head to the Southwest border in the fall and remain there for about a year, said Maj. Carl Lamb, the organization’s public affairs officer.

They are expected to take up similar duties as a Maine unit that deployed to the border in October, when about 120 Maine National Guard soldiers with the 262nd Engineer Company helped Customs and Border Protection agents with non-law enforcement duties, such as monitoring surveillance cameras, Lamb said. That unit is expected to return in the fall, he said.

Last month saw the largest surge of people trying to cross the Southwest border in years, The New York Times reported. In addition to Maine, other  states have announced they will send National Guard troops to assist federal agents.

Experts say a confluence of factors is driving more people to flee their homes in Central and South America to seek refuge in the United States, primarily violence and natural disasters fueled by climate change, such as drought and hurricanes, The Times reported.

Callie Ferguson is an investigative reporter for the Bangor Daily News. She writes about criminal justice, police and housing.