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Texas begins operation to send National Guard troops to the border

Texas is preparing to deploy National Guard troops and vehicles to the border with Mexico, the state's top military c...

Posted: Apr 7, 2018 7:44 PM
Updated: Apr 7, 2018 7:44 PM

Texas is preparing to deploy National Guard troops and vehicles to the border with Mexico, the state's top military commander said Friday.

About 250 troops will be sent by Monday to the state's 1,254-mile long border with Mexico, Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris said.

"This mobilization supports the priorities of the governor and the President in securing our borders," she told reporters.

More troops will be sent once mission requirements and locations are determined, she added.

Notifications for troops will go in the mail Saturday telling troops they need to report as early as next week, Norris said.

Texas already has 100 National Guard soldiers on the border from another operation that began in 2014.

One other southwestern state announced its National Guard plans. Arizona is sending 150 troops to the border next week, the state's department of military affairs said. Troops there will lend air support, help with reconnaissance and construction of border infrastructure and give logistics support.

A spokeswoman for the Pentagon, Dana White, said Thursday: "These National Guard members will act in support of Border Patrol agents who are performing law enforcement duties."

Earlier, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said the department was looking at how it can support the department of Homeland Security.

"We'll figure it out," he said. "It will be consistent with law and the spirit of Congress. No problem."

Late Friday, he and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen released a joint statement.

"Tonight, National Guard troops are deploying to support border security missions along the US southwest border," they said. "Working closely with the border governors, the Department of Homeland Security identified security vulnerabilities that could be addressed by the National Guard."

The chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Joseph Lengyel, tweeted that the move involves 500 troops.

"Moving up to 500 #NationalGuard troops immediately on the SW border security mission. Vehicles, equipment & helicopters on the way tonight," Lengyel wrote.

Norris said Texas troops that moved Friday are planners.

US law limits what the troops can do. Federal law prohibits the military from being used to enforce laws, meaning troops cannot actually participate in immigration enforcement. In the past, they've served in support roles like training, construction and intelligence gathering.

Norris said whether an airman or soldier is armed during deployment depends on the nature of the mission, but the Guard is still working with Homeland Security on mission issues.

Mattis late Friday signed an order for "up to 4,000 National Guard personnel to support DHS's southern border security mission while under the command and control of their respective governors through September 30, 2018," according to a Defense Department memo.

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

President Donald Trump said Thursday he will deploy 2,000 to 4,000 troops to the border with Mexico.

In a memo he signed Wednesday evening, Trump declared the defense secretary "shall request use of National Guard personnel" to secure the border and that the homeland security secretary will work with him to train and direct the troops in that mission.

He said in the memorandum that "the security of the United States is imperiled by a drastic surge of illegal activity on the southern border."

Sending National Guard troops to the Mexico border is not unprecedented. Both of Trump's predecessors did so, though the moves were criticized as costly and of limited effectiveness.

Norris noted troops will need time to tell relatives and employers about their deployments.

Troops typically head to an armory first, pick up their gear and get briefed before heading out on deployment.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 343505

Reported Deaths: 7543
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23932444
DeSoto23229283
Harrison20527329
Rankin15411291
Jackson15232252
Madison10959227
Lee10719179
Jones9047169
Forrest8723159
Lauderdale7884244
Lowndes7054151
Lamar702989
Lafayette6548124
Washington5595139
Pearl River5196152
Bolivar4954134
Oktibbeha494398
Panola4771112
Warren4728128
Marshall4701106
Pontotoc447773
Union433279
Monroe4330137
Neshoba4281181
Hancock428088
Lincoln4176116
Pike3667113
Leflore3627125
Tate353388
Alcorn350974
Sunflower347694
Scott341176
Adams340988
Yazoo339376
Copiah324968
Simpson322891
Itawamba314680
Coahoma314085
Tippah306568
Prentiss298863
Covington293484
Leake285475
Marion284181
Wayne277543
George272251
Grenada269488
Newton262364
Tishomingo239770
Winston236784
Jasper230648
Stone229637
Attala226373
Chickasaw219060
Holmes200174
Clay197654
Clarke186880
Tallahatchie183742
Calhoun181332
Smith179235
Yalobusha171540
Walthall145748
Lawrence142826
Greene140134
Amite137543
Noxubee135235
Perry133538
Montgomery133044
Carroll126431
Webster121232
Jefferson Davis116734
Tunica114227
Benton106725
Claiborne105331
Kemper102429
Humphreys100133
Franklin87923
Quitman84719
Choctaw82619
Wilkinson78032
Jefferson71328
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 585607

Reported Deaths: 11536
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson851431591
Mobile48584864
Madison37411533
Shelby27192257
Tuscaloosa27145465
Montgomery26119627
Baldwin25207329
Lee17184181
Calhoun15382334
Morgan15147291
Etowah14928370
Marshall13079235
Houston12021293
Elmore10890219
St. Clair10737252
Limestone10699158
Cullman10503205
Lauderdale10240254
DeKalb9498192
Talladega8935188
Walker7775288
Autauga7537114
Jackson7384117
Blount7352139
Colbert6691142
Coffee6342132
Dale5605117
Russell478943
Chilton4763117
Covington4738125
Franklin456681
Tallapoosa4511156
Escambia439283
Chambers3936125
Dallas3742163
Clarke370563
Marion3455107
Pike332079
Lawrence3257100
Winston298373
Bibb289765
Geneva282883
Marengo262267
Barbour250661
Pickens245262
Butler240172
Hale235178
Fayette226765
Henry212845
Monroe201541
Randolph200344
Cherokee198848
Washington184339
Macon169752
Crenshaw167758
Clay165659
Cleburne161145
Lamar150938
Lowndes145355
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh120632
Coosa118129
Perry110328
Sumter110333
Greene99137
Choctaw64425
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