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Davis And Abbott See National Guard Border Deployment Differently

Texas Army National Guard

The candidates running for governor have opposing reactions to Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to deploy 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the border over the next month.

Republican Greg Abbott joined Perry for the announcement and applauded the governor’s call.

Abbott said deploying the Guard is crucial to addressing the organized criminal activities by drug cartels and gangs.

Democrat Wendy Davis agrees that Texas must act because Washington has not secured the border. 

Davis, however, wants the governor to call a special legislative session to come up with resources needed for adding more local law enforcement in border communities.  She points out that the Guard units aren’t currently authorized to make arrests.

Texas Adjutant General John Nichols said the guard troops will be "referring and deterring" immigrants.   He says they will not detain immigrants though they could if Gov. Perry orders them to do so. 

Former KERA staffer Shelley Kofler was news director, managing editor and senior reporter. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who previously served as the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.