Texas National Guard sending 250 troops to Texas-Mexico border, officials say

Inc. All rig

Inc. All rig

On Wednesday, Trump signed a proclamation sending the guard to the border in an effort to stop what his administration called an "unacceptable" flow of drugs, criminal activity and illegal immigrants.

Exact details of the mission, including the total number of troops to be deployed and the cost, were yet to be determined, Brigadier General Tracy Norris, commander of the Texas Army National Guard, told a news conference.

News reported that, according to a Pentagon memo, "the troops will not be used for law enforcement or interaction with immigrants unless Defense Secretary James Mattis approves it, and that the troops will be armed only if required for self-defense".

But in recent months, desperate immigrants undeterred by the president's tough talk have been attempting to enter the United States in larger numbers again.

The Trump administration announced on Friday that it would nearly 500 National Guard troops to the U.S. -Mexico border over the weekend, and that up to 4,000 would be available through September, as President Trump attempts a crackdown on newly resurgent border crossings.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Twitter Friday he would send the troops to the border at some point next week. In that capacity, a governor retains control of the National Guard troops but the federal government finances the operation. That's erased a decline for which Trump repeatedly took credit.

Trump told reporters Thursday that he wants to send between 2,000 and 4,000 National Guard members to the border to help fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking. The Border Patrol said it caught around 50,000 people in March, more than three times the number in March 2017.


A spokesman for Ducey said Friday that the deployment would be funded under a federal law called Title 32.

Mr Trump also threatened Mexico, saying the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) was at risk unless it stopped the movement of migrants over the border. But Trump has repeatedly cited it as an example of what he called America's weak immigration laws.

"Together, the Departments of Homeland Security and Defence are committed to using every lever of power to support the men and women of law enforcement defending our nation's sovereignty and protecting the American people", they said in a joint statement. Its second mission in 2010 and 2011 involved more aerial surveillance and intelligence work. In fact, they had moved to put the National Guard on the border years ago.

"The deployment is created to support ongoing efforts to mitigate the crisis on our border", a Wednesday DHS news release read. "Within 72 hours the Texas military department will have 250 personnel along with ground surveillance vehicles as well as light and medium aviation platforms", she added.

The Arizona Governor, however, refused to share the cost incurred in deploying the guards at the border to restrict the flow of illegal immigrants to the United States in line with President Trump's move to construct the anti-immigration wall and send an army of USA troops to guard the wall.

About 100 Guardsmen remain deployed as part of the existing state mission in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, the busiest corridor for unauthorized crossings on the southwest border.

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