What to know as Republicans governors consider sending more National Guard to the Texas border

As Republicans cheer on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s escalating feud with the Biden administration over immigration enforcement, some governors are considering deploying National Guard members to the border — again.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday was among the first to commit more personnel to Texas, announcing he would send hundreds of additional guard members as tensions grow between state authorities and the U.S. government over who has the power to enforce immigration policies, where and how.

Republicans say tougher actions along the border are needed in response to record levels of illegal crossings, but sending guard members to the border is not new.

DeSantis is one of more than a dozen Republican governors who have sent state National Guard units to the southern border since 2021. His latest deployment comes as Texas continues to deny U.S. Border Patrol agents entry to a popular crossing spot for migrants in the border city of Eagle Pass.

Here’s what to know about National Guard on the border to date:

What is happening at the Texas border?

At the center of the clash between Texas officials and the federal government is Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, which has become one of the busiest locations for people attempting to cross into the U.S. illegally from Mexico. Earlier this month, troops from the Texas National Guard seized the park and began turning away federal immigration authorities despite pleas from U.S. government officials.

Immigration enforcement is typically a federal responsibility.

Abbott has said he will continue implementing new immigration measures, calling it a “constitutional right to self-defense.” Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal agents were allowed to remove razor wire placed by Texas officers along the border with Mexico, including in Shelby Park.

Texas has since installed more razor wire in Eagle Pass, which was not prohibited under the Supreme Court’s order. The Biden administration has argued that the wiring makes it difficult and dangerous for federal agents to perform their duties.

Other measures taken by Abbott as part of his border security initiative include a floating barrier installed in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, which has also been challenged by federal officials.

Who is sending National Guard?

Florida has already sent more than 1,000 guard members, troopers and other officers to the Texas border since last May, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

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