TUCSON, Ariz. - More Arizona National Guardsmen are heading to the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday morning. 113 Guardsmen will join the 225 already there for a total of 338 troops that will help U.S. Border Patrol.
The National Guardsmen will work alongside BP Agents, doing tasks like engineering, possibly helping with border wall construction and running surveillance for Border Patrol agents. This will allow agents to focus more on making arrests when people cross the border illegally.
The National Guard will not have law enforcement powers and will be based in Marana at the Pinal Air Park.
According to the Trump Administration, 2,000 to 4,000 guardsmen will be deployed in the border states. That is more than President Obama's 1,500 troops but less than President Bush's deployment of 6,000.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey says the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security reported a 200% increase of migrants coming over to the border in March year-over-year. That is one reason the National Guard is being called out now.
There is no timetable as to how long the guardsmen will be deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session is expected to meet with sheriffs in border states on Wednesday, during his visit to southern New Mexico. He is scheduled to travel to Las Cruces and talk about immigration enforcement at an annual meeting.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Monday that he is sending at least 1,000 National Guardsmen to the border. South Carolina's governor has offered to send some of his state's troops to help fight illegal immigration in Texas.
California is still undecided on what action to take as Texas, New Mexico and Arizona deploy troops.