The Latest: Texas adding to National Guard on Mexico border
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and immigration (all times local):
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office says he will add more National Guard members to the roughly 100 already deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border in the state.
Abbott said in a statement Wednesday that he welcomed the Trump administration’s announcement that it will “immediately” deploy guardsmen to the southwest border. The Republican governor said the announcement “reinforces Texas’ longstanding commitment to secure our southern border.”
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry ordered 1,000 guardsmen to the border in July 2014 during a large spike in crossings by unaccompanied migrant children. State leaders announced months later that they would wind down most of that deployment.
Texas also has state troopers stationed at its border to assist the Border Patrol and local law enforcement.
Republicans who lead congressional Homeland Security committees are supporting President Donald Trump’s plan to deploy National Guard troops on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, chairman of the House homeland panel, calls the move “a positive step toward providing the safety this nation has long demanded” on the border.
Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, chairman of the Senate homeland panel, also backs Trump’s action and says he is working with the administration to fix the “broken” immigration system and close legal loopholes that encourage illegal immigration.
Johnson says the president and Congress have a duty to protect American citizens and secure the border.
Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico denounced the plan as “another pitiful attempt to distract attention from the dangerous chaos” Trump has created.
The Trump administration says it is working with governors to “immediately” deploy the National Guard to combat illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Wednesday that DHS and the Pentagon will be working closely with governors in the affected states.
She says that deployment will be done as expeditiously as possible and that Guard troops could begin heading to the border as soon as Wednesday night.
Trump announced his plan to send the military to the border during a meeting with Baltic leaders Tuesday.
Trump has been frustrated by Congress’ refusal to fund building a wall along the length of the U.S. border as well as an increase in illegal border crossings.
President Donald Trump will be signing a proclamation directing the departments of Defense and Homeland Security to work together with governors to deploy the National Guard to the southwest border.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen made the announcement at the White House on Wednesday. She says he’ll sign the proclamation later in the day.
Nielsen is also railing against the country’s current immigration laws and calling on Congress to make changes.
She says the current system “rewards bad behavior” and “it’s time to act.”
She says details are still being worked out, but National Guard personnel are expected to assist with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s mission.
Trump announced on Tuesday that he plans to deploy the military to the southern border until his long-promised wall is built.
President Donald Trump is promising “strong action today” on immigration.
Trump says on Twitter: “Our Border Laws are very weak while those of Mexico & Canada are very strong. Congress must change these Obama era, and other, laws NOW! The Democrats stand in our way — they want people to pour into our country unchecked....CRIME! We will be taking strong action today.”
The president did not detail what that action would be. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump said Tuesday that wants to use the military to secure the U.S.-Mexico border until his promised border wall is erected. The White House later said Trump wanted to mobilize the National Guard.
President Donald Trump wants to use the military to secure the U.S.-Mexico border until his “big, beautiful wall” is erected.
He said during a news conference Tuesday: “Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military.”
He has been frustrated by the lack of progress on fulfilling the signature promise of his campaign.
Federal law prohibits the use of active-duty service members for law enforcement inside the U.S., unless specifically authorized by Congress. But over the past 12 years, presidents have twice sent National Guard troops to the border to bolster security and assist with surveillance and other support.
The administration appears to be considering a model similar to a 2006 operation deployed by President George W. Bush.