Pentagon approves hundreds more National Guard troops to support border agents

Pentagon approves hundreds more National Guard troops to support border agents
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The Pentagon has reportedly approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for more than 700 National Guard troops to supplement U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in several southwestern states.

Defense Department officials approved the deployment of 736 National Guard service members to assist Border Patrol officials in four states: California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, the Washington Examiner reported.

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This is the third such request from Border Patrol since April, and the National Guard already has about 1,100 members stationed along the border with Mexico.

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisTrump learns to love acting officials Shanahan says he's 'never favored' Boeing as acting Defense chief Trump moves to install loyalists MORE has approved the deployment of up to 4,000 National Guard troops to the border, which are not authorized to perform law enforcement duties or interact with migrants detained by Border Patrol unless authorized by Mattis.

The move comes after President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction MORE signed an executive memorandum in April directing Mattis to support DHS in an effort to combat a “drastic surge of illegal activity on the southern border.”

DHS officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill on Friday night.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenOvernight Energy: Mueller report reveals Russian efforts to sow division over coal jobs | NYC passes sweeping climate bill likened to 'Green New Deal' | EPA official says agency may ban asbestos | Energy Dept. denies Perry planning exit The Hill's 12:30 Report: Inside the Mueller report Energy Dept denies report that Rick Perry is planning to leave Trump admin MORE said at a press briefing earlier this year that the threat posed by illegal immigration at the southern border poses a threat to the safety of American families and the "rule of law."

“The threat is real,” Nielsen said. “This threatens not only the safety of our communities and children, but also our very rule of law, on which, as you know, our country was founded.”