Texas send 400 troops to US-Mexico
border, after Trump order
Anthony Smith, Getty Images, AFP |Brigadier
General Tracy Norris announced that the
Texas National Guard plans to deploy an
expected 250 personnel to the Texas-Mexico
border with supporting aircraft, vehicles
and equipment within 72 hours, April 6, 2
The US states of Texas and Arizona on
Friday announced plans to send National
Guard troops to the southern border with
Mexico after President Donald Trump ordered
a thousands-strong deployment to combat drug
trafficking and illegal immigration.
The Texas National Guard said it would
send 250 troops to the border within 72
hours and had already deployed two Lakota
helicopters, while Arizona’s governor said
he would send 150 personnel next week.
“The Texas national guard is preparing to
immediately deploy with supporting aircraft,
vehicles and equipment to the Texas-Mexico
border,” Brigadier General Tracy Norris, the
commanding general of the Texas National
Guard, told reporters at a briefing.
“This deployment has begun with the
movement of equipment and troops today.
Within 72 hours the Texas military
department will have 250 personnel along
with ground surveillance vehicles as well as
light and medium aviation platforms,” she
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis 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
Department of Defense memo.
The memo set out that troops would not
carry out law enforcement activities without
the defense secretary’s approval and would
be armed only in “circumstances that might
Mattis and homeland security secretary
Kirstjen Nielsen said the decision came
after their departments “identified security
vulnerabilities that could be addressed by
the National Guard.”
“Together, the Departments of Homeland
Security and Defense are committed to using
every lever of power to support the men and
women of law enforcement defending our
nation’s sovereignty and protecting the
American people,” they said in a joint
“We will continue to work with the
governors to deploy the necessary resources
until our nation’s borders are secure.”
Trump had said on Thursday that the final
deployment would range from 2,000 to 4,000
troops, and he would “probably” keep many
personnel on the border until his promised
border wall is built spelling out a lengthy
The move has heightened tensions with
Mexico, whose President Enrique Pena Nieto
said Trump’s “threatening or disrespectful
attitudes” were unjustified.
It has also raised questions about who
will fund the mission.
The Pentagon could not say where the
money would come from and Trump admitted the
White House was still “looking at” costs.
If 4,000 troops were deployed, that would
be about double the current US military
presence in Syria and about half as many as
the number of US troops in Iraq.
The National Guard has previously been
deployed to help patrol the southern border,
including in 2010 under former president
Barack Obama, and from 2006-2008 under
George W. Bush. Both deployments were
limited to around a year.