UNITED STATES—The Pentagon has approved the deployment of as many as 4,000 troops to the border.
“These National Guard members will act in support of Border Patrol agents who are performing law enforcement duties,” said Dana White, Chief Pentagon spokesperson.
This is in response to President Donald Trump’s call for troops after an alleged spike in illegal border crossings. This assertion contradicts Customs and Border Patrol data, which indicates that the number of illegal crossings and apprehensions at the boarder are at the lowest numbers since 1972.
Several border states have already answered the call for more National Guard troops at the border. California already has 55 guardsmen at the border.
“These personnel perform a variety of missions, including surveillance support at the San Diego Harbor, horizontal engineering in an effort to repair roads, fences and culverts, and criminal analysis with state and federal law enforcement personnel in support of counter-narcotics and counter-narcoterrorism operations,” said the California National Guard.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that it would bring its troop deployment to at least 1,000. Texas has 250 troops along its border. He also stated that the ultimate goal across all border states was “to have at least 4,000 deployed here in about a month or two.”
Arizona deployed 225 National Guard troops last week. The state will send off another 113 troops this week. New Mexico is expected to deploy a total of 250 troops to the border. The first batch contained 80 guardsmen and was deployed at the end of last week.
California Governor Jerry Brown released a statement on Wednesday, April 11 indicating the California National Guard will accept federal funding to have over 400 Guard members statewide to combat transnational crime.
“Your funding for new staffing will allow the Guard to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state. Combating these criminal threats are priorities for all Americans – Republicans and Democrats,” said Governor Brown.
He added, “This will not be mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”
Written By Candace Buford