The State of Texas is sending 250 members of the National Guard to the Mexican border in response to a request from President Donald Trump. The announcement by Brigadier General Tracy Norris, Texas Army National Guard commander, followed the president’s proclamation mobilizing the units under the authority of Title 32 law.
Norris stated the deployment is federally funded but the soldiers and airmen remain under the authority and control of the State of Texas, KXAN reported.
“This notification will allow Guardsmen, soldiers and airmen, to notify their families and employers in preparation to deploy as early as next week,” General Norris stated. “The requirements of Department of Homeland Security’s needs in support of Customs and Border Patrol and other federal entities will dictate what the [mission] will be.”
Norris stated National Guard soldiers and airmen could be armed for self-defense purposes “will depend on the mission set and what the requirements are through the Department of Homeland Security.”
KXAN reported that Texas National Guard helicopter crews began deployment Friday evening.
This is not the first time Texas Guardsmen have been deployed to the border. In July 2014, then-Texas Governor Rick Perry ordered about 1,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen to deploy along the South Texas border, Breitbart Texas reported.
The order followed reports from Breitbart Texas’ Editor-in-Chief Brandon Darby showing the massive number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
“We’re looking from 2,000 to 4,000” on the border, Trump told reporters on Air Force One earlier this week. “We’ll probably keep them, or a large portion of them, until such time as we get the wall.”
The Texas Guardsmen will be joined along the U.S southwestern border by Guardsmen from New Mexico and Arizona, Breitbart News reported.
California Governor Jerry Brown has not responded to the Department of Homeland Security on whether his state will join in the effort to secure the border.
Following the president’s request for the National Guard to be deployed to the border, Texas Governor Greg Abbott quickly responded, “My top priority as Governor is ensuring the safety and security of Texans, and securing our southern border has always been essential to that mission.”
“In my time as Governor, Texas has maintained a continuous presence of National Guard members along the border, and we’ve added hundreds of permanent Department of Public Safety troopers to the region,” Abbott continued. “Today’s action by the Trump Administration reinforces Texas’ longstanding commitment to secure our southern border and uphold the Rule of Law, and I welcome the support.”
“Going forward, Texas will continue to implement robust border security efforts, and this partnership will help ensure we are doing everything we can to stem the flow of illegal immigration,” the Texas governor concluded.
Abbott also stated that Trump’s action is consistent with previous National Guard border deployments by Presidents George W. Bush in 2006 and Barrack Obama in 2010.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, GAB, and Facebook.