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Trump wins pledges of 1600 troops for border duty; California uncertain

10 April 2018

Also on Friday, the Texas Army National Guard said 250 guardsmen would be deployed to the U.S. -Mexico border in the following 72 hours.

The governors of California and New Mexico have not said publicly how they plan to respond to the president's request.

Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico are all led by Republican governors. Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Brown, suggested the Related Press Monday that state officers are nonetheless reviewing Trump's troop request.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, offered to send members of his state's Guard as well. In a tweet on Monday, Ducey said the number would be 225 with additional Guardsmen joining them on Tuesday. Previous border deployments were done in coordination with the relevant US governors and Mexican officials. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he would commit at least 1,000 guardsmen.

Some Guard members will be armed if they are placed in potential danger, Abbott said.

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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". He added that there isn't a fixed date for the troops' deployment and they could be stationed for "long haul".

On their way to the border, Guardsmen will pass through a National Guard Base at Pinal Air Park just north of Marana.

Despite drops in apprehensions of undocumented immigrants over time, Ducey said March saw a surge of unauthorized border crossings and illegal activity. "You show me somebody who is for drug cartels or human trafficking or this ammunition that's coming over a wide-open and unprotected border here".

But the ministry said it will be watching to make sure the border does not become more militarized than it already is.

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.

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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.

The soldiers were deployed to the Yuma and Tucson sectors of U.S. Customs and Border Protection on 31-day orders, but the governor's office said those orders "can be extended once the mission is further established and roles are more defined".

Ducey, who met with sheriffs Monday before addressing troops in the first wave of what he called Operation Guardian Shield, said state, local and federal governments need to work together do "what Washington has failed to do for too long - secure the southern border".

El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Hull says troops are nowhere near deploying yet.

The New Mexico Guard members could help with air support, surveillance and infrastructure repairs, Hull said.

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Trump wins pledges of 1600 troops for border duty; California uncertain