The Texas National Guard is Arriving in Laredo This Week

The National Guard is ramping up their presence in Texas with deployments starting this week in Laredo, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

Mayor Pete Saenz had concerns about their role, but those fears were quelled when he spoke with Laredo Sector Chief Patrol agent Jason Owens.

"He's had between 300 and 500 slots available or open for the past two years, so he welcomed the help," Saenz says.

At a press conference in Laredo last week, when the agents arrived, Owens told the media that he's worked with the National Guard, going as far back as 2006. 

"I know what they bring to the table. These are some patriotic Americans, some dedicated soldiers and I know that they are excited to get into the mission and help us out.

"About 180 guardsman are now in Laredo, performing support services for the Border Patrol. Mayor Saenz says they will not be on the front lines, enforcing immigration law.

 "We've had them in the past with President (Barack) Obama and President (George W.) Bush," he explains.  "So, I think it's going to work out fine.  We welcome the National Guard in Laredo."

The guard will be in Laredo through the end of the fiscal year but there are hopes that the deployment can be extended.  Mayor Saenz says their presence will make his city safer. 

He's been told by border patrol that, last year, they caught more than 500 gang members crossing in his area and that’s likely only the tip of the iceberg.

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