The Border Patrol in Texas says it supports President Trump's executive order sending elements of the National Guard to the U.S. Mexico border, but the duties the military units will be able to carry out remain unclear, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council, says the main role the military will be in support of the Border Patrol, and National Guard troops will not be arresting any illegal immigrants or drug smugglers.
Judd says the main role the military will perform is monitoring sensors and cameras, and handling the tech that has been deployed to keep an eye on remove border points.
"With the military in a support role they will be able to take over those duties which then allows up to free up our manpower to put them along the border and patrol the border," Judd said.
Several federal laws, most notably the Posse Commitatus Act of 1878, forbid the use of the U.S. military in any domestic law enforcement operation, and specifically deny the power of the military to arrest people or investigate criminal acts on U.S. soil.
In Texas, the National Guard has been deployed on the border since 2013, when it was authorized by then Gov. Rick Perry.
In fact, Judd says the use of National Guard troops to support Border Patrol and Customs and Border Enforcement Operations dates back to the Clinton Administration.
"We did it under the Clinton, Bush, Clinton, and Obama Administrations, and I never saw those administrations taking any heat for it, but now all of a sudden I see President Trump taking heat," he said.
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