Immigration

Texas Border Patrol Prepares For National Guard Reinforcements

Up to 1,000 troops will be deployed to the Texas-Mexico border

The Texas National Guard is deploying 250 troops as part of President Trump’s crack down on illegal immigration. Trump ordered the deployment last week. 

Up to 1,000 troops total will be deployed in Texas, Governor Abbott told KTSA radio, with 300 troops to be added weekly. 

Awaiting reinforcements, Border Patrol agents are doing preliminary meet-ups with the Texas National Guard to collaborate on border security.

Mission requirements need to be finalized before troops are in place, said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Hull in a press conference for a border wall project. 

A hundred troops are already serving at the border from a prior deployment.

National Guard troops cannot make apprehensions on the border, though they can provide surveillance and other support.

The deployment has prompted both support and push-back from local residents and officials. Immigration policy experts have also come out against the move. 

“I see it as not the most efficient response to a problem that may or may not exist,” said Andrew Selee, President of the Migration Policy Institute. 

“It tends to be a huge outlay of funding because it’s quite expensive to move the National Guard, but not necessarily what the Border Patrol needs in terms of support at the border.”

Selee said illegal crossings of the southwest border are at a 45-year low. A better investment, Selee said, would be an investment border technology would be a better way to improve security.

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Elizabeth Trovall

Immigration Reporter

Elizabeth Trovall is an immigration reporter for Houston Public Media. She joined the News 88.7 team after several years abroad in Santiago, Chile, where she reported on business, energy, politics and culture. Trovall's work has been featured on Here and Now, Latino USA, Texas Standard and Only A Game. She...

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