U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Deputy Commissioner Ron Vitiello and El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Hull detailed the impending deployments of National Guard elements in New Mexico and West Texas Friday morning, highlighting their job responsibilities.
"The acquisition of National Guard personnel in a support capacity will be a welcome asset in providing: additional surveillance, engineering, administrative and mechanical expertise, mobile communications, border-related intelligence analysis and repair of border infrastructure in west Texas and southern New Mexico," officials said in a news release Friday morning.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said more than half of roughly 1,400 National Guard members the state wants to put on the U.S.-Mexico border are already on the job.
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Abbott said Thursday in the Texas border city of Weslaco that morale is high among troops. He spoke to reporters after a briefing with National Guard officers and Border Patrol agents.
The Republican defended President Donald Trump's military deployment plan to fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
Abbott said about 450 people each day are apprehended crossing the border in the Rio Grande Valley alone.
Abbott said 1,400 troops in Texas may be the final size of the operation but that the number could change "depending on circumstances on the ground."