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Texas governor orders National Guard to arrest migrants

The Hill logo The Hill 7/28/2021 Cameron Jenkins
Greg Abbott wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Texas governor orders National Guard to arrest migrants © Getty Images Texas governor orders National Guard to arrest migrants

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Tuesday ordered the National Guard to help local law enforcement with arresting migrants as the state continues to see an influx of people crossing the southern border.

Abbott sent his request for more "manpower" to mitigate border crossings in a letter to Maj. Gen. Tracy R. Norris of the Texas Military Department, according to The Texas Tribune.

"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 the Texas Department of Public Safety (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," the letter stated, according to the news outlet. "I hereby order that the Texas National Guard assist DPS in enforcing Texas law by arresting lawbreakers at the border."

National guardsmen deployed under state orders are legally allowed to conduct law enforcement.

Abbott has repeatedly slammed President Biden for his handling of increased border crossings, with Tuesday's move marking his latest attempt to counteract it. Officials at the border have reportedly apprehended thousands of migrants attempting to enter the United States.

Nearly 189,000 attempted crossings were reported in June, the Tribune reported.

The Hill has reached out to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security for comment.

Last week, state law enforcement officials started arresting migrants on trespassing charges as part of Abbott's plan to crack down on border crossings.

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