(USA Features) Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has expanded the authority of his National Guard and has ordered troops deployed to the Texas-Mexico border to help state law enforcement agents detain and arrest illegal migrants.
Abbott, a Republican, sent a letter to Texas Adjutant General Major Gen. Tracy Norris with the new authorization and instructions.
“By virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, I hereby order that the Texas National Guard assist DPS in enforcing Texas law by arresting lawbreakers at the border,” Abbott’s letter said.
Last month, Abbott said during a summit to discuss border security that any migrants who criminally trespass into Texas or commit other offenses would be subject to arrest and jailed.
In addition, the GOP governor announced plans to build new sections of border wall so as to plug gaps left when President Joe Biden canceled federal wall construction begun under the Trump administration.
In explaining why National Guard members should be empowered to make arrests, Abbott said in his letter that “more manpower is needed” in order to deal with the crush of migrants crossing illegally by the tens of thousands each month into Texas.
In addition, Abbott argued that according to the Texas constitution, his powers as “Commander-in-Chief of the military forces” of the state give him the authority to issue the order.
It also “likewise recognizes that the governor can call on state military forces ‘to enforce state law’ and ‘to assist civil authorities in guarding [or] conveying prisoners,’” said the letter.
“To respond to this disaster and secure the rule of law at our Southern border, more manpower is needed—in addition to the troopers from DPS and soldiers from the Texas National Guard I have already deployed there—and DPS needs help in arresting those who are violating state law,” Abbott noted in his letter.