Border states pledge 1600 troops for President Trump's border fight

Apr 10, 2018, 19:24
Border states pledge 1600 troops for President Trump's border fight

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, offered to send members of his state's Guard as well.

"This mission is about providing manpower and resources to support federal, state, county, tribal and local law enforcement agencies in stopping the flow of criminals, narcotics, weapons and ammunition trafficked in the state", the statement said.

On their way to the border, Guardsmen will pass through a National Guard Base at Pinal Air Park just north of Marana. They will be integrated with 100 Texas Guardsmen who had been working on a previous border support mission. They will be the first of an expected 250 Guard members from New Mexico to serve on the border.

Ducey told reporters later that the deployments are needed to stop a surge of border crossings since March and accused the US government of previously ignoring the border "for almost a decade". On Friday, Defense Secretary James Mattis signed a memo approving U.S. Department of Defense funding through September for up to 4,000 troops along the border.

Abbott says there's no fixed date on their deployment and that "we may be in this for the long haul".

National guard members from Texas were shown in images taken over the weekend at the U.S. -Mexico border.

The Texas National Guard has also deployed 150 members for the border security mission announced by Trump earlier last week.

Joel Villarreal, the mayor of Rio Grande City in Texas, said he did not agree with what he characterized as "the militarization of the border".

"This (deployment) isn't specifically around a border wall", Ducey said.

Mr Trump and administration officials have said that rising numbers of people being caught at the southern border, while in line with seasonal trends in recent years, require an immediate response.

Napier said Ducey told the sheriffs he will seek additional federal grant dollars for area law enforcement needs.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's office said that more than 80 troops would deploy later this week. California National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Keegan said last week that the request would be "promptly reviewed to determine how best we can assist our federal partners".

Trump said last week that he would be sending up to 4,000 troops to the southern border until his proposed border wall was built.

"The people that are suffering the drug overdoses, often times these products are coming over the border and through our state", he said. Yet, he acknowledged that the Bush and Obama administrations deployed far more National Guard soldiers, all with the same objective: To provide support for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

"The state of Arizona must not be used as a political pawn that will leave visitors questioning the safety of our state", he said in his letter to Ducey.