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US National Guard troops at Mexican border may be armed after all

02:05  17 april  2018
02:05  17 april  2018 Source:   nbcnews.com

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The National Guard troops now being deployed are not armed , but states may opt to arm their troops for self-defense, says the head of the U.S. Border Patrol. Caught on tape: U.S. officials try to dump injured man at Mexican border .

136732- national - guard - troops - at - mexican - border - may - be - armed - after - all /. National Guard Units at US Border Won't Be Armed , Trump Admin Tells Mexico . Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has told Mexican authorities that National Guard troops deployed on the border

Image: Members of the Texas National Guard wait for Governor Abbott to speak about security on the Mexico-U.S. border in WeslacoMembers of the Texas National Guard wait for Gov. Greg Abbott to speak about security on the Mexico-U.S. border at Sergeant Tomas Garces Texas Army National Guard Armory on April 12, 2018 in Weslaco, Texas. © Provided by NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC Image: Members of the Texas National Guard wait for Governor Abbott to speak about security on the Mexico-U.S. border in WeslacoMembers of the Texas National Guard wait for Gov. Greg Abbott to speak about security on the Mexico-U.S. border at Sergeant Tomas Garces Texas Army National Guard Armory on April 12, 2018 in Weslaco, Texas.

WASHINGTON — The head of the U.S. Border Patrol on Monday could not rule out the possibility that some National Guard troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border might be armed for self defense.

Chief Ronald Vitiello told reporters that governors of border states would have the right to assess whether the troops in their states carry arms, particularly if they are on a mission that might require them to defend themselves.

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The acknowledgment came moments after California announced it would not be sending troops to the border , as requested by The issue of whether or not to arm National Guard troops at the southern border is particularly sensitive because of the shooting death of an 18-year-old American citizen and

National Guard troops have been deploying to the southern border for decades after orders by presidents and governors from both parties. General Norris said on Friday that the troops would be armed for self-defense “depending on the mission set,” and that it was “premature right now to know

"That's a case by case delegation, and that's determined by what the assignment is and most of the assignments won't require it. And then whatever the threat situation is, they'll be entitled to protecting themselves," Vitiello said at a news conference at the Department of Homeland Security.

Vitiello reiterated that no troops would be assigned to specifically arrest immigrants or do any kind of law enforcement work.

The acknowledgment came moments after California announced it would not be sending troops to the border, as requested by the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, because it considered the work to be too closely related to immigration enforcement.

"We are in continuing dialogue, discussion, with the California National Guard," said Robert Salesses, deputy assistant secretary for defense for Homeland Defense Integration.

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  Arizona to deploy 225 National Guard troops to U.S.-Mexico border The move comes after Trump called for 2,000 to 4,000 National Guard members on the border until his proposed border wall progresses."Your mission is to support the efforts of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and their efforts to secure the border, and keep the communities on the border safe," Gov. Doug Ducey, R-Ariz., told the troops in a press conference Monday.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has told Mexican authorities that National Guard troops deployed on the border would not be armed or

California National Guard troops stand in formation near the California- Mexico border on Aug. More: President Trump orders National Guard to the Mexican border . Trump and Putin hold two-hour, closed-door meeting on trade, nuclear arms and China.

Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have sent 250, 50 and 650 troops respectively, and the Department of Defense aims to grow that number to a total of 2,000 by the end of September, DoD officials told reporters.

The issue of whether or not to arm National Guard troops at the southern border is particularly sensitive because of the shooting death of an 18-year-old American citizen and goat herder by U.S. Marines who were patrolling for drug smugglers in the Rio Grande Valley in 1997. The killing sparked an uproar against the overuse of military force at the border.

President Trump made a surprise announcement on April 4 that he would like to deploy the National Guard because illegal immigration over the southern U.S. border had increased to levels not seen since he took office.

At present, none of the troops who have been deployed are armed, the officials said. Their missions as of now are to provide intelligence through air surveillance and help with infrastructure projects at the border, but not to arrest immigrants, Salesses said.

He said cost estimates for the deployment are still being worked out. DoD will pay for the mission, but it is unclear whether the National Guard, the Army or another account will foot the bill.

Vitiello echoed Trump by saying the National Guard troops would remain at the border until they achieve "operational control."

California gov says feds will fund National Guard deployment .
The Trump administration has agreed to fund the deployment of as many as 400 California National Guard troops along the U.S.-Mexico border and elsewhere, the state's governor, Jerry Brown, said Wednesday. The mission will focus on combating criminal gangs, human trafficking and drug and gun crimes along the border, the California coast and within the state itself, Brown said.The mission will not focus on immigration enforcement, h e said.Brown agreed last week to deploy the California National Guard after President Trump announced that he would send troops to the southern border to stymie illegal border crossings.

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