Texas is airlifting hundreds of additional National Guard troops to the border with Mexico to help stem the tide of a record influx of illegal immigration. The troops will join other soldiers already working in El Paso, which has become a focal point of the growing border crisis.
The Texas National Guard this week said it is using C-130J cargo aircraft to ship 200 soldiers and 40 Humvees to join the operation ordered by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. More than 400 troops have already been mobilized to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country.
“You cannot just cross anywhere you want. We’re focused on deterrence, on demonstrating that we can be where we need to be anywhere on this border,” said Maj. Gen. Win Burkett, director of operations for Operation Lone Star, the state mission to prevent illegal border crossings.
“We can surge in a very short amount of time,” said Gen. Burkett, who commands the Texas National Guard’s 36th Infantry Division.
The latest deployment of troops and Humvees is to help authorities expand operations in the area. The National Guard also deployed armored vehicles and concertina wire to repel illegal immigrants and secure the border, state officials said.
“All sectors along the border are increasing their response posture to protect Texas against the flood of immigrants and cartel activity streaming into our state,” Texas Guard officials said.
Mr. Abbott has accused the Biden administration of not doing enough to secure the border and has demanded the federal government “immediately deploy federal assets” to the region.
The Trump-era policy known as Title 42 temporarily curtailed immigration to the U.S. over COVID-19 concerns. It had been scheduled to expire until Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. temporarily froze the policy.