State Capital Highlights

Decision to send troops to border draws mixed reactions

 

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on April 4 welcomed the announcement by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen that the federal government would deploy some 4,000 National Guard personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist in stemming the flow of illegal immigration.

“Today’s action by the Trump Administration reinforces Texas’ longstanding commitment to secure our southern border and uphold the rule of law and I welcome the support,” the governor said. “Going forward, Texas will continue to implement robust border security efforts and this partnership will help ensure we are doing everything we can to stem the flow of illegal immigration.”

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said using the National Guard in a supportive role “is a commonsense way to temporarily assist law enforcement along the border. It’s critical that the Administration continue to work in close consultation with state and community leaders to ensure the border region can remain safe and prosperous.”

Cornyn noted that the decision to deploy troops is consistent with actions taken by President Obama in 2010 and President George W. Bush in 2006.

But state Rep. Cesar Blanco, D-El Paso, reacted differently. “Trump’s deployment of the National Guard to our border communities is unjustified, irresponsible and dangerous,” Blanco said. “In 2017, apprehensions for illegal border crossing hit a 46-year low — a 23.4 percent drop from 2016. Some of our border communities, such as El Paso, are consistently ranked as some of the safest communities in the country.”

State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, also questioned the deployment.

“The President and other Republicans have manipulated the fears of Americans, many of whom know very little about life in on the border, into a potent political weapon,” Rodriguez said. “In his latest anti-immigrant action, Mr. Trump proposes to use the U.S. military as actors and the border as a stage to create electoral theatre in hopes of appeasing his political base.”


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