Arizona announces deployment of National Guard to border

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Arizona has responded to President Trump’s request to send the National Guard to help protect the U.S.-Mexico border, as Arizona’s Republican Gov. Doug Ducey announced Monday that 225 members of the Arizona National Guard are deploying to the border.

Ducey said more of the state’s Guard members will be deployed on Tuesday.

After the deployment ceremony, Ducey posted several photos on Twitter, along with a number of statements, including the following:

These troops will be helping our federal partners with any support role responsibilities that they need, and will be stationed in both the Tucson and Yuma sectors.

Members of the @AZNationalGuard are part of a highly trained, experienced and professional service unit. Their efforts will help make Arizona and our country more secure.

We must continue to partner with local, state, and federal officials to do what Washington has failed to do for too long – secure our southern border.

Arizona joins Texas, who deployed 250 National Guard members to the border on Friday. The Democratic governor of Oregon has stated she will refused to send her state’s National Guard members to protect the border, and California has not yet made a commitment.

The Associated Press reported:

New Mexico’s Republican governor has said her state would take part in the operation but no announcement has been made on deployment. California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has not said if the state’s Guard members will participate.

Trump has said he wants to use the military at the border until progress is made on his proposed border wall, which has mostly stalled in Congress.

Defense Secretary James Mattis last Friday approved paying for up to 4,000 National Guard personnel from the Pentagon budget through the end of September.

A Defense Department memo said the National Guard members will not perform law enforcement functions or “interact with migrants or other persons detained” without Mattis’s approval.

It said “arming will be limited to circumstances that might require self-defense” but did not further define that.

The head of the U.S. Border Patrol sector that includes part of West Texas and all of New Mexico said Monday he met with leaders of the New Mexico National Guard to begin discussions about what will be required and their capabilities.

El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Hull says those troops are nowhere near deploying yet.

The New Mexico Guard members could help with air support, surveillance and infrastructure repairs, Hull said. Hull says the troops could help with air support, surveillance and repairs of infrastructure along the border.

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