Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling
Arizona, Texas poised to send National Guard to border
Arizona and Texas are moving to send hundreds of National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border within days as part of President Trump's push to shore up the area until his proposed wall is built.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced Friday afternoon on Twitter that he would be sending around 150 Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Meanwhile, the Texas Military Department, which oversees the state's National Guard, announced it would have 250 personnel and supporting aircraft, vehicles and equipment on the border with Mexico within 72 hours.
Trump on Wednesday signed a presidential memorandum directing Defense Secretary James Mattis to support the Department of Homeland Security in securing the southern border to address a "surge of illegal activity," including drug trafficking and illegal immigration.
The document does not specify how long or in what capacity the troops will serve.
The "lawlessness" at the southern border is "fundamentally incompatible with the safety, security, and sovereignty of the American people" and the administration "has no choice but to act," the document states.
The president told reporters on Thursday that he wants to send between 2,000 and 4,000 National Guardsmen to the border.
That is lower than the 6,000 Guard troops former President George W. Bush sent in 2006 and the 1,200 former President Obama sent in 2010.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) also sent the Guard to the border to help secure it in 2014.
Details are still scarce on the cost of the endeavor and the role the troops will have.
The Pentagon's chief spokeswoman Dana White told reporters Thursday that the Guard's efforts at the border will "act in support of border patrol agents who are performing law enforcement duties," and will include aviation, engineering, surveillance, communications and vehicle maintenance.
Updated: 8:18 p.m.