The Texas National Guard announced the movement of aircraft and troops to the U.S. – Mexico border to support Customs and Border Protection efforts to guard the border.
“Always Ready, Always There! Moving up to 500 #NationalGuard troops immediately on the SW border security mission,” Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Joseph Lengyel posted on Twitter Friday night. “Vehicles, equipment & helicopters on the way tonight.
— General Daniel Hokanson (@ChiefNGB) April 7, 2018
The Texas Military Department, who oversees the Texas Army and National Guard, posted a video showing the deployment of Lakota helicopters to the border.
— Texas Military Dept (@TXMilitary) April 7, 2018
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) said earlier this week that he has always kept a National Guard presence at the border.
“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,” Abbott said in a statement. “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.”
It appears that Friday’s deployment is an augmentation of the forces already standing guard at the Texas – Mexico border.
The additional deployment happened the same day that President Trump issued an executive memo to the Justice Department, Department of Defense, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to end “catch and release” of criminal aliens.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Friday that the president will send as many troops as it takes to secure the southern bordeder.
“It’s going to be as many as it takes, we’re looking at what that needs to be,” she said. “The president thinks it’s a good first step to have two to four thousand and if we determine we need more we’ll make that decision.”
Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey (R) said Friday that he would send 250 National Guard troops to the border in the next 72 hours with another 150 deploying next week.
Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson (R) said he is willing to send some of his states’ National Guard members to the border in an effort to “add to our nation’s security at an important time.”
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez supports the idea of sending the National Guard to the border.
“[We] cannot allow criminal activity to come across the border where it will only increase crime in New Mexico’s communities,” Martinez’ spokesman said.
While California’s Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has spoken to officials in the Department of Homeland Security about the use the California National Guard on the border, he has not made his decision public or commented on the conversation.
New Mexico and California have yet to send troops to guard their sections of the U.S. border.