Ducey sending 150 Arizona National Guard troops to border, but questions remain

PHOENIX – Arizona plans to send “approximately 150 National Guard members” to the U.S.-Mexico border next week, but questions remain about the duties and duration of the deployment.

Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted Friday that his office was working with the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security on the deployment. His office did not immediately respond to requests for further details Friday evening, but a spokesman told AZcentral.com that the federal government would pay the costs of the deployment.

The announcement came two days after President Donald Trump said the military is needed because “the security of the United States is imperiled by a drastic surge of illegal activity on the southern border.” On Thursday, Trump said he wanted 2,000 to 4,000 National Guard members deployed along the nearly 2,000 mile border from Texas to California. “We’ll probably keep them or a large portion of them” on duty until a border wall is constructed, he said.

Ducey is the first of four border governors to respond to Trump’s request to use the National Guard to support the work of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has voiced support for the deployment, but the governors of California and New Mexico have not commented publicly.

In a tweet Friday, Kirstjen Nielsen, DHS secretary, expressed her appreciation for Trump’s plea to strengthen the border.

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