Arizona and Texas have announced that they will send 400 National Guard members to the US-Mexico border following Donald Trump’s call for troops to fight drug trafficking and illegal immigration.
The Texas National Guard said it had plans to place 250 troops there in the next 72 hours, while Arizona governor Doug Ducey said about 150 Guard members would deploy next week.
Trump said he wants to use the military to secure the Mexican border until his infamous boundary wall is built, criticising “the lawlessness that continues at our southern border”.
Despite plunging at the start of Trump’s presidency, the number of migrants apprehended at the Mexican border has now started to rise in line with historical trends.
The Border Patrol said it caught around 50,000 people in March – more than three times the number in March 2017. That has erased a decline for which Trump repeatedly took credit.
The total number of National Guard members currently deployed to the border remains well short of the 2,000 to 4,000 members the president told reporters he wants to send.
New Mexico and California have also been asked to deploy troops.
It is not the firm time troops have been sent to the US’ southern border. George Bush sent around 6,000 personnel in 2006, while Barack Obama deployed 1,200 Guard members back in 2010.