Gov. Rick Perry has ordered 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard to the border in an effort to fend off people crossing the border illegally, but the troops are not expected to do much when they arrive.
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Texas Adjutant General John Nichols said his troops would simply be "referring and deterring" immigrants and not detaining people, the Associated Press reported.
"We think they'll come to us and say, `Please take us to a Border Patrol station,'" Nichols said.
Perry put out a statement defending his order, saying that it will “tackle this crisis head-on” but the White House slammed the deployment as an effort “to solve this problem though symbolism.”
“I know that Governor Perry is hopeful that it will send an important symbol,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday. “What we're focused on is making sure that we have the necessary resources at the border to deal with this problem on a sustained basis, that by nature, a National Guard deployment is temporary.”
For his part, Perry justified his action as a result of federal inaction.
“There can be no national security without border security, and Texans have paid too high a price for the federal government’s failure to secure our border,” he said in the statement.
Perry isn't the first Texan politician to make this move: President George W. Bush sent 6,000 National Guard troops to the border in 2006. President Obama eventually extended that deployment while ordering a second wave of National Guard forces to Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico in 2010, the AP reported.
The governor, who is widely believed to be weighing a second run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, made his intentions known to the White House when President Obama traveled to Texas two weeks ago.
At the time, Perry asked for the National Guard to be called up and paid for by federal funds but since that was not ordered through the White House, the state will have to pay the $12 million price tag per month while they are deployed.
Earnest said that the White House has not received any of the “formal communication that you typically get from a state official when they make a request like this.”
More than 3,000 Border Patrol agents currently work in the region to deal with the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children illegally entering the country.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.