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The National Guard is assisting Texas with border protection

Other states have responded to the aid requested by Gov. Abbott and sent out-of-state National Guard troops to help.
The National Guard is assisting Texas with border protection
Posted at 5:31 PM, Jul 20, 2023

The border crisis in Texas is something other states are now getting involved in.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott requested the aid of other states to send National Guard troops to help with Operation Lone Star.

Texas border officials have strung miles of razor wire and built a wall of buoys in the river as part of a $4 billion effort from Gov. Abbott called Operation Lone Star, through which Texas counties can deploy the National Guard to assist in border arrests and busing migrants to other cities.

Most recently many other states have responded to the aid requested by Gov. Abbott and sent out-of-state National Guard troops to help with the mission.

Scripps News was given the opportunity to embed with the National Guard on the border to see how they operate with other agencies, what they can do on the border, and why Gov. Abbot claims they are needed.

"We have 24/7 coverage of our section of the border here," said 2nd Lt. Thomas Matchett. "What my guys are doing every day is detecting migrants. Right now, our directive is to deter, and say 'We need you to go back to Mexico, we can't let you in this area.' We're not using any force or anything like that, it's very cordial. But our mission is to deter the migrants."

SEE MORE: Texas trooper alleges 'inhumane' treatment at Southern border

The National Guard has also been involved with other procedures like clearing out vegetation, adding shipping containers as a wall and constructing miles of wire fencing in order to funnel migrants towards the ports of entry.

While some across the country view these tactics as controversial and even dangerous, officials supporting the mission view this as a crucial asset.

According to the state of Texas, the multi-agency effort has led to more than 390,000 migrant apprehensions.

On the border, troops aren't allowed to detain any migrants. They're only there for support, whether that means surveillance or helping in medical incidents. National Guard officials said only with the permission of the Texas Department of Public Safety during a physical incident can the National Guard troops engage.

But these soldiers said they are tired and stretched thin, which is where the out-of-state troops come into play to relieve those who have been on the mission for more than a year.

However, Operation Lone Star is currently under investigation.

A leaked email from a Texas state trooper describing "inhumane" conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border, including children and breast-feeding mothers being denied water, is once again thrusting into the spotlight Gov. Abbott's intensifying measures to block migrants from crossing the Rio Grande.

Scripps News caught a glimpse of the dangerous conditions and journey that migrants make in Maverick Country when National Guard officials rushed to help a young boy who passed out from likely heat illness and dehydration.

It's a complicated issue the National Guard faces every day along the border, maintaining their duties while also trying to show compassion.

But it's something troops understand that they will have to continue to do until another diplomatic solution can present itself.


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