(National Sentinel) Protect & Defend: Texas and Arizona, in response to President Donald J. Trump’s call to deploy thousands of National Guard troops along the U.S.-Mexico border as illegal crossings surge, have already begun to deploy some forces.
Reports Saturday said that Texas has already begun deploying its Guard troops, while Arizona is preparing their forces and will deploy them next week.
According to KSDK, Texas is sending 250 troops while Arizona is expected to deploy about 150. The deployments are aimed at supporting federal immigration authorities as they deal with a substantial rise in illegal crossings.
“This mobilization supports the priorities of the governor and the president in securing our border,” said Tracy Norris, deputy adjutant general of the Texas Military Department, which oversees the state’s National Guard branches.
New Mexico supports the Guard deployment but has not yet formulated a plan to deploy its Guard. California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat whose state has been at odds with Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding their immigration enforcement policies, has not said whether he will support the deployment.
In all, according to Defense Secretary James Mattis, up to 4,000 Guardsmen could be deployed eventually. Trump has said he wants to leave those forces in place until his border wall is built.
Last month, according to the Department of Homeland Security, more than 50,300 people were either arrested or denied entry, making March the highest one-month total since Trump took office.
In a statement, DHS spokesman Tyler Q. Houlton said Thursday that the sudden increase was evidence “the crisis at our Southwest border is real,” The Washington Post reported.
“Illegal aliens continue to exploit our immigration laws,” Houlton said. “We need to close these dangerous loopholes that are being taken advantage of each and every day, gain operational control of the border, and fully fund the border wall system,” he added, in reference to the $25 billion border security plan that has stalled in Congress.
That represented a 200-percent increase from the same period last year.
Texas has the longest border with Mexico — 1,241 miles. Arizona’s border is approximately 375 miles.
In other related action, the president on Friday signed a memo ending the Obama-era “catch-and-release” program which allowed illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. while they awaited a hearing in federal immigration — which often took months.
Critics of the program said that in most cases illegal aliens would simply refuse to show up for their hearing.
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