The Latest: South Carolina offers troops for border effort
PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on the deployment of National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border (all times local):
South Carolina’s governor is offering to send some of his state’s National Guard troops to Texas to help fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking along the Mexican border.
Gov. Henry McMaster was a supporter of President Donald Trump before Trump became the Republican front runner in the 2016 primaries. Trump called for thousands of National Guard troops along the border last week.
But McMaster says his offer Monday afternoon to Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was just one state helping another, like other states have helped South Carolina after hurricanes.
South Carolina Adjutant General Robert Livingston says details including how many troops the state will send, their duties and how long they will stay will have to be worked out.
McMaster says he plans to make a similar offer to Arizona’s Republican governor.
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New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez’s office says more than 80 of the state’s National Guard members will deploy later this week as part of President Donald Trump’s effort to bolster border security.
Those soldiers will be the first of an anticipated 250 from New Mexico serving in the border operation.
The Republican governor in a statement reiterated her support for sending troops to the southwestern border to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking, saying the operation would ultimately make New Mexico safer.
The New Mexico Guard met over the weekend with U.S. Border Patrol officials to discuss the number of troops needed and their duties.
It has identified personnel to work the border operation without affecting those members who also serve in local law enforcement.
Officials also say soldiers serving in the border operation will require training and background checks.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says his state will commit at least 1,000 National Guard troops to the Mexico border in response to President Donald Trump’s call.
The Republican Abbott told San Antonio radio station KTSA on Monday that the state will add around 300 Guard members a week.
The Texas National Guard said Friday that it would send an initial deployment of 250 members.
Abbott says there’s no fixed date on their deployment and that “we may be in this for the long haul.”
The governor says some Guard members may be armed if they are posted to locations where they could face danger.
But Abbott said he wanted to “downplay the notion” that the National Guard would be “trying to take on anybody that’s coming across the border.”
Arizona has boosted the number of National Guard troops it will send to the Mexico border to 338 from 225 as part of President Donald Trump’s plan for having the military help fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
The Arizona National Guard said in statement that 225 troops will be deployed to the border Monday and another 113 on Tuesday.
The statement came after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced that more troops would be sent Tuesday but did not specify how many.
The statement says the troops will help law enforcement agencies stem “the flow of trafficked people, criminals, narcotics, weapons, and ammunition trafficked in the state.”
Arizona’s governor has cited a “surge” of border crossings in March as one of the reasons for his decision to send members of the state’s National Guard to the U.S. Mexico border to help fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
The Republican Doug Ducey made the comments Monday after he saw off some of the 250 troops that Arizona is sending in response to President Donald Trump’s plan to send up to 4,000 troops to the border.
Ducey says the Arizona troops’ mission is “about providing manpower and resources to support federal, state, county, tribal and local law enforcement agencies in stopping the flow of criminals, narcotics, weapons and ammunition that is being trafficked into our state.”
Texas is also sending National Guard members to the southwestern U.S. border. New Mexico says it will. California is undecided.
National guard members from Texas were shown in images taken over the weekend at the U.S.-Mexico border.
But the state’s National guard did not return phone and email messages Monday seeking comment on how many have arrived.
The Texas National Guard had said Friday that 250 of its members would be deployed to the border within three days as part of President Donald Trump’s plan to fight illegal immigration with up to 4,000 National Guard members.
The images shared by the Texas Military Department which includes Guard branches showed members dressed in military fatigues shaking hands with U.S. border agents.
New Mexico has not yet deployed any National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border in response to President Donald Trump’s call to use troops to fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking. It’s not clear when they will head to the border.
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 troops are nowhere near deploying yet.
Hull says the troops could help with air support, surveillance and repairs of infrastructure along the border so that Border Patrol agents have more time to enforce immigration law.
California has not decided whether to send National Guard members to the border with Mexico to help President Donald Trump’s deployment of troops to fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
That’s according to Gov. Jerry Brown’s spokesman Evan Westrup. He said Monday that Trump’s call is still under review.
Brown is a Democrat and hasn’t spoken publicly about the request.
California National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Keegan said last week that any request will be “promptly reviewed to determine how best we can assist our federal partners.”
The Republican governors of Arizona and Texas have already deployed troops.
New Mexico’s Republican governor says her state will participate as well.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s office says that the deployment of 225 members of the state National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border to support President Donald Trump’s deployment to fight illegal immigration will be paid for by the U.S. government
Ducey spoke Monday as he saw off guard members at the Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix.
His office says guard members will provide air, reconnaissance, operational and logistical support to border patrol agents.
They will also help with construction of border infrastructure to free up federal agents’ time so they can concentrate on border enforcement.
Arizona officials say guard personnel will be placed on initial 31-day orders and serve in the Tucson and Yuma Customs and Border Protection sectors.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says 225 members of the state’s National Guard are heading to the U.S.-Mexico border to support President Donald Trump’s call for troops to fight drug trafficking and illegal immigration.
The Republican Ducey in a tweet Monday said more of the state’s Guard members will be deployed on Tuesday.
No details were immediately announced on what the Arizona troops would do at the border. Trump said last week he wants to send 2,000 to 4,000 National Guard members to the border.
Texas has also said it will send National Guard members to the border. 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.
Corrects in 1st item that Arizona troops being sent Monday and Tuesday not Tuesday and Wednesday.