Looks like the southern border of the United States is about to get a LOT more difficult to cross by illegal aliens…
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has approved using Defense Department money to pay for as many as 4,000 National Guard personnel to perform border security missions.
Mattis made the decision Friday night. It means the federal government will foot the bill for the National Guard missions, which will be performed under the command and control of the participating states.
A Pentagon memo said the authorization is valid through the current budget year, which ends Sept. 30. It did not indicate how much the missions are expected to cost.
The memo said the National Guard personnel will not perform law enforcement functions or “interact with migrants or other persons detained by” the Department of Homeland Security without Mattis’s approval. It said “arming will be limited to circumstances that might require self-defense,” but it did not further define that.
Texas Tribune reports National Guard deployed last night:
In response to President Donald Trump’s call earlier this week to mobilize the U.S. military for border protection, the Texas National Guard deployed a handful of troops to the Texas-Mexico border on Friday evening, with plans to send 250 more in the next 72 hours.
“As early as tomorrow, notifications will go out to soldiers who will be called up as a part of the follow-on phase,” Brigadier General Tracy Norris said at a news conference Friday evening at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s Armed Forces Reserve Center. “This mobilization supports the priorities of the governor and the president in securing our borders.”
Norris said the action is an “initial phase” of deployment, which will include operational planning that will determine what resources and additional personnel will be needed to protect the border. She said the National Guard has not yet determined how much it will cost to station additional personnel along the border. Trump said Thursday he wants up to 4,000 troops on the border.
Texas lawmakers in recent legislative sessions budgeted more than $2 billion for border security, with most of the money going to the state’s Department of Public Safety.