Published: Wed, April 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Arizona's governor to send 150 National Guard's to US-Mexico border

Arizona's governor to send 150 National Guard's to US-Mexico border

The Trump administration announced on Friday that it would nearly 500 National Guard troops to the U.S. -Mexico border over the weekend, and that up to 4,000 would be available through September, as President Trump attempts a crackdown on newly resurgent border crossings. Two helicopters lifted off Friday night from Austin, the state capital, to head south.

Arizona and Texas have answered Donald Trump's call for troops to help fight drug trafficking and illegal immigration at the US-Mexico border. Texas governor Greg Abbott and New Mexico governor Susana Martinez have both announced they will be sending troops but haven't given any specifics. The office of California Gov. Jerry Brown would respond to Trump's call.

As the New York Times reported on Friday, many people who actually live near the border are puzzled by the need for national guard troops to manage what they view as a humanitarian crisis, not a political one.

The memo says troops will be armed only in limited situations that might require self-defense.

In announcing the operation, Bush called on Congress to pass "comprehensive immigration reform".

Trump signed a proclamation Wednesday blaming "the lawlessness that continues at our southern border".

"We continue to see unacceptable levels of illegal drugs, risky gang activity, transnational criminal organisations and illegal immigration flow across our southern border", Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen told reporters at the White House yesterday.

According to a statement made by Trump's advisor on Monday (April 2), he was preparing new legislation to block migrants and asylum seekers, including young unaccompanied children from entering the US.

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Obama was under pressure from Southwestern governors to gain control over the border. Trump called the deployments crucial to helping the U.S. Border Patrol, which after a drop-off a year ago has returned to apprehending about as many people as it typically does.

Also, Trump warned Mexico, saying the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) was at risk unless it stopped the movement of migrants over the border.

The Texas National Guard said Friday that they plan to deploy 250 personnel to the border over the next 72 hours.

The governor announced the mobilization on Twitter and said he was working closely with the defense and homeland security departments. Federal law prohibits the military from being used to enforce laws, meaning troops can not actually participate in immigration enforcement. He said the troops would assist Border Patrol by "operating surveillance systems, analyzing intelligence, installing fences and vehicle barriers, building patrol roads, and providing training".

"Tonight National Guard troops are deploying to support border security missions along the US southwest border", Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a joint statement late Friday.

Norris said Texas troops that moved Friday are planners.

The document does not specify how long or in what capacity the troops will serve.

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