Arizona sending 150 Guard troops to Mexico border next week

April 7, 2018

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 19, 2007 file photo, a National Guard unit patrols the Arizona-Mexico border in Sasabe, Ariz. On Friday, April 6, 2018, Arizona and Texas announced that they were preparing to deploy National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border in response to President Donald Trump’s call for more border security. From 2006 to 2008, the Guard fixed vehicles, maintained roads, repaired fences and performed ground surveillance. Its second mission in 2010 and 2011 involved more aerial surveillance and intelligence work. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file)

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona will deploy about 150 members of the state National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border next week to support President Donald Trump’s plan for troops at the border to combat illegal immigration and drug smuggling, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Friday.

Ducey said he was working closely with federal officials to coordinate the troop movements.

The announcement came two days Trump announced the military border deployment, a move praised by the Republican governor.

Texas officials also announced Friday they would be sending 250 troops to the border within 72 hours.

Arizona’s National Guard said in a statement it activated a team of planners to coordinate the troop movements. The troops will help free up U.S. Border Patrol agents to work in the field by providing air, reconnaissance, operational and logistics support and constructing border infrastructure.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Wednesday that the Trump administration was using a model similar to a 2006 operation where then-President George W. Bush deployed National Guard troops. Former President Barack Obama also deployed troops to the border in 2010.

Arizona Guard troops were activated in both cases, doing border watch missions, supporting border wall construction and helping with administrative and other support tasks.

They will remain under state control but all costs will be paid by the federal government.

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