Mark and Charlie's Blog
Guard to avoid confrontation with immigrants in border surge
National Guard troops beginning a deployment to the Rio Grande Valley to help deal with a flood of immigrants crossing the border illegally will stow their combat gear and take up Spanish lessons, state officials said Tuesday as questions continued to swirl about whether the boots on the ground were needed.
The Guard troops will be armed for self defense and trained to avoid confrontation with border crossers as they help back up federal agents and hundreds of Department of Public Safety troopers, Texas Rangers, DPS investigators and game wardens who arrived weeks ago.
Meanwhile, responding to reports that some of the immigrants were infected with contagious diseases, Kyle Janek, executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, said state health officials were working closely with federal officials to vaccinate all immigrant children coming across the border.