Texas Governor Greg Abbott told KTSA radio on Monday that he plans to send nearly 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the US/Mexico border, after already committing to send 250 troops last week.
The announcement came a week after President Donald Trump said he would send the National Guard to the border. Trump said the move was needed to help secure the border. Defense Secretary James Mattis said that up to 4,000 National Guard troops could end up staffing the border.
The National Guard will work in a support role along the border, as troops are not allowed to make arrests or perform law enforcement functions.
Abbott said troops along the border could be “in this for the long haul.”
Troops from New Mexico and Arizona also will work the border. California has yet to commit troops to the border.
Although Trump wants to bolster border security, it appears that illegal border crossings are down. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said that arrests at the border in 2017 were at a 46-year low. The decrease in arrests continues a nearly two-decade trend.
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