Texas National Guard Troops Will Be Armed, Says Governor

Texas National Guardsman on Rio Grande River Border
U.S. Army file photo by Maj. Randall Stillinger

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) said some of his state’s National Guard troops “will be armed” on the U.S.-Mexico Border. A reported 250 soldiers are being deployed.

“Whenever they’re in a position where they could be confronted by someone who is very dangerous, they will be armed,” Governor Abbott told KTSA’s Trey Ware. “Our National Guard will be able to fully defend themselves.”

Abbott explained they will not be armed in an aggressive fashion but as appropriate for self-defense while doing a dangerous job.

“We want to downplay any notion that would be misinformed that our National Guard are showing up with military bayonets, trying to take on anybody who’s coming across the border because that is not their role,” the Texas governor explained.

The Lone Star State is ramping up its response to President Trump’s request for national guard troops to be deployed to the border in response to the surge of migrants crossing the border in March. Border Patrol agents arrested nearly 38,000 in the month of March, an increase of more than 10,000 in a single month and an increase of more than 200 percent from March 2017.

Governor Abbott said there is a “mathematical need” to send National Guard troops to the Mexican border.

“You need to understand that there is a mathematical need for this because the people coming across the border have increased dramatically,” Abbott said on Fox and Friends Monday morning,  “more than 200 percent month on month in the month of March, of what it was the year before.”

“What is going on is people don’t just happen to come into the United States,” the Texas governor explained. “They get here by the drug cartels and by the coyotes who bring them across. Every time we have increased the forces on the ground, there has been a decrease of the cartel activity and coyote activity because they realize they will be losing money. Part of our job is to put these cartels and coyotes out of business. Whenever we are able to ramp up the support on the ground, it puts them out of business, and it’s going to make the border a far more secure place.”

Border Patrol Agent Hector Garza expressed his gratitude for the assistance provided by the National Guard in previous deployments, Breitbart Texas reported.

“I worked with the Texas National Guard during their 2014 border deployment,” Border Patrol Agent Hector Garza told Breitbart Texas in his capacity as president of National Border Patrol Council Local 2455. “They were very helpful to our operations.”

Garza said the guardsmen took over many tasks normally filled by agents who are taken from the border. These tasks included monitoring cameras and sensors, vehicle maintenance, and other support roles. “Some of the guardsmen also paired up with agents to provide additional manpower and safety along the border region,” Garza stated.

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 soldiers and airmen to deploy along the South Texas border, Breitbart Texas reported. Governor Abbott continued the deployment and expanded the presence of Texas Department of Public Safety troopers in the border region. Prior to this week’s deployment, about 100 members of the Texas National Guard remained under the state’s deployment orders.

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.

Abbott announced on Monday that his state is increasing its deployment to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops. His announcement came on the same day New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez ordered 250 of her state’s National Guardsmen to deploy to the southern border. He said the state plans to send about 300 per week until the goal is reached.

The State of Arizona has announced plans to send more than 300 army and air guardsmen to that state’s southern border, KVIA ABC 7 reported from El Paso.

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 @BobPriceBBTXGAB, and Facebook.

(Disclosure: Breitbart Texas sponsored the Green Line podcast for the NBPC in an effort to provide a platform for agents to inform the public about the realities on the border and what Border Patrol agents face. Director Brandon Darby received an award from the Laredo chapter of the NBPC for his work in helping to defend and bring a voice to Border Patrol agents. Breitbart News assisted in covering funeral costs for a slain Border Patrol agent previously.)


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