The Republican governors of three southwestern border states on Monday committed 1,600 National Guard members to the U.S. -Mexico border, giving President Donald Trump numerous troops he requested to fight what he's called a crisis of migrant crossings and crime.
Greg Abbott (R) on Monday said he would increase the number of troops the state will send to the border from 250 to at least 1,000.
National Guard members have started arriving at the US-Mexico border, with more expected as federal government officials continue to discuss what they will do about illegal immigration.
Those soldiers will be the first of an anticipated 250 from New Mexico serving in the border operation.
Ducey supports finishing a wall on Arizona's border with Mexico, but stopped short of saying the National Guard should build it.
Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico are all led by Republican governors.
California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has not said if the state's National Guard members will participate.
"So for President Trump to call up the National Guard is not something that's new and unique", Ducey said in defending the decision.
The troop pledges are in response to President Donald Trump's plan to use the military to help fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking. They will be integrated with 100 Texas Guardsmen who had been working on a previous border support mission.
Gov. Doug Ducey addressed part of the force at Papago Park Military Reservation. He said more National Guard members would be deployed this week.
Some Guard members will be armed if they are placed in potential danger, Abbott said.
"We want to downplay any notion that would be misinformed that our National Guard are showing up with military bayonets, trying to take on anybody who's coming across the border because that is not their role", the governor explained while appearing on the station's Trey Ware Morning Show. Organizers said they never meant to go to the USA border.
There is no end date for the deployment, Abbott said: "We may be in this for the long haul".
"The idea is there is a mission here and to complete the mission so you can call it successful", Ducey said.
"I don't suppose it's a partisan downside or an id downside", he talked about.
Defense Secretary James Mattis last Friday approved paying for up to 4,000 National Guard personnel from the Pentagon budget through September.
It said "arming will be limited to circumstances that might require self-defense" but did not further define that. He supports the deployment but is concerned Guardsmen will militarize the border.
El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Hull says those troops are nowhere near deploying yet. "The Guard will provide air support, reconnaissance support, operational support, construction of border infrastructure and logistical support". "But it certainly is about border security".
Administration officers have talked about that rising numbers of people being caught on the southern border, whereas in keeping with seasonal traits now, require an instantaneous response.