AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The commander overseeing 1,000 National Guard troops being sent to the Rio Grande Valley says the open-ended mission is a first for the reserve military force.
Maj. Gen. John Nichols told lawmakers Tuesday that although the National Guard has been sent to the border twice since 2006, it has never faced such a potentially long-term deployment. Nichols has said they've planned to be on the border for a year.
Gov. Rick Perry last month announced the deployment. His orders came as the U.S. Border Patrol grappled with an overwhelming surge of unaccompanied children coming into Texas.
The deployment will cost the state upward of $3 million a week. Perry has said the Guardsmen are necessary to help free up state troopers who are pursuing crime along the border.
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