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UPDATE: Texas Boosts Number Of Troops To Mexico Border To At Least 1,000

Abbott told San Antonio radio station KTSA on Monday that the state will add around 300 Guard members a week

In this Friday, Jan. 19, 2007 file photo, a National Guard unit patrols at the Arizona-Mexico border in Sasabe, Ariz. National guard contingents in U.S. states that border Mexico say they are waiting for guidance from Washington to determine what they will do following President Donald Trump’s proclamation directing deployment to fight illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said his state will commit at least 1,000 National Guard troops to the Mexico border in response to President Donald Trump’s call.

The Republican Abbott told San Antonio radio station KTSA on Monday that the state will add around 300 Guard members a week.

The Texas National Guard said Friday that it would send an initial deployment of 250 members.

Abbott said there’s no fixed date on their deployment and that “we may be in this for the long haul.”

The governor said some Guard members may be armed if they are posted to locations where they could face danger.

But Abbott said he wanted to “downplay the notion” that the National Guard would be “trying to take on anybody that’s coming across the border.”

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to visit southern New Mexico and speak at a conference for sheriffs in border states.

Sessions will travel to Las Cruces on Wednesday and deliver remarks on immigration enforcement at an annual meeting organized by the Southwestern Border Sheriff’s Coalition and the Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition.

Sessions’ visit comes after President Donald Trump said last week he wants to send 2,000 to 4,000 National Guard members to the border.

Trump also has said he wants to use the military at the border until progress is made on his proposed border wall.

The Southwest Border Sheriff’s Coalition is made up of 31 sheriff’s departments from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California whose counties are located within 25 miles (40 kilometers) of the U.S.-Mexico border.

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South Carolina’s governor is offering to send some of his state’s National Guard troops to Texas to help fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking along the Mexican border.

Gov. Henry McMaster was a supporter of President Donald Trump before Trump became the Republican front runner in the 2016 primaries. Trump called for thousands of National Guard troops along the border last week.

But McMaster said his offer Monday afternoon to Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was just one state helping another, like other states have helped South Carolina after hurricanes.

South Carolina Adjutant General Robert Livingston said details including how many troops the state will send, their duties and how long they will stay will have to be worked out.

McMaster said he plans to make a similar offer to Arizona’s Republican governor.

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New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez’s office said more than 80 of the state’s National Guard members will deploy later this week as part of President Donald Trump’s effort to bolster border security.

Those soldiers will be the first of an anticipated 250 from New Mexico serving in the border operation.

The Republican governor in a statement reiterated her support Trump’s plan to send up to 4,000 troops to the southwestern border to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

The New Mexico Guard met over the weekend with U.S. Border Patrol officials to discuss the number of troops needed and their duties.

It has identified personnel to work the border operation without affecting those members who also serve in local law enforcement.

Officials also said soldiers serving in the border operation will require training and background checks.

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Monday that 225 members of the state’s National Guard were heading to the U.S.-Mexico border to support President Donald Trump’s call for troops to fight drug trafficking and illegal immigration.

More of the state’s Guard members will be deployed on Tuesday, said Ducey, a Republican.

The Arizona troops were being sent after Texas announced Friday it would send 250 National Guard members and helicopters took the first of them to the border.

The Texas National Guard is sending 250 Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexico border, joining Arizona in deploying a total of 400 National Guard members in response to President Donald Trump’s call for troops to fight drug trafficking and illegal immigration.

A spokesperson for the Texas National Guard said some of the soldiers may be armed for “self defense” and depending mission-specific orders.  

Trump said last week he wants to send 2,000 to 4,000 National Guard members to the border.

New Mexico’s Republican governor has said her state would take part in the operation but no announcement has been made on deployment. California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has not said if the state’s Guard members will participate.

Trump has said he wants to use the military at the border until progress is made on his proposed border wall, which has mostly stalled in Congress.

Defense Secretary James Mattis last Friday approved paying for up to 4,000 National Guard personnel from the Pentagon budget through the end of September.

A Defense Department memo said the National Guard members will not perform law enforcement functions or “interact with migrants or other persons detained” without Mattis’s approval.

It said “arming will be limited to circumstances that might require self-defense” but idid not further define that.

After plunging at the start of Trump’s presidency, the numbers of migrants apprehended at the southwest border have started to rise in line with historical trends.

The Border Patrol said it caught around 50,000 people in March, more than three times the number in March 2017.

That’s erased a decline for which Trump repeatedly took credit. Border apprehensions still remain well below the numbers when former Presidents George W. Bush and Barrack Obama deployed the Guard to the border.

 

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