The 1,000 National Guard troops who were deployed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to assist with the border crisis may get the unusual authority to make arrests and apprehensions, the New York Times reports.
In the past, troops who were sent by presidents were prohibited from making arrests while they helped at the border. But since Perry ordered the deployment, he has the authority to permit Guard troops to make arrests, the New York Times wrote.
Immigration rights advocates and experts on the National Guard expressed concern that troops were ill trained to handle potentially deadly encounters.
“This does not come from the federal government,” said Jayson P. Ahern, a former Customs and Border Protection acting commissioner who helped coordinate deployment of the National Guard to the border in 2006. “That’s the biggest distinction here. This is the governor taking unilateral action. Not having that oversight and supervision and direction as part of a plan from the federal authorities, I think it is reckless and could lead to significant safety issues.”
The troops are expected at the border next month but they cannot enforce immigration law.