HOUSTON — President Donald Trump’s announcement that he wants to use the military to secure the U.S.-Mexico border echoes the response of Texas leaders during a surge of Central American children crossing the Rio Grande four years ago.
Former Gov. Rick Perry ordered the Texas National Guard to deploy along the Rio Grande in July 2014. About 1,000 guardsmen were eventually deployed. Around 100 guardsmen remain there.
Perry sent the National Guard because he said former President Barack Obama’s administration had failed to secure the border.
Perry is now Trump’s energy secretary. His successor in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, has ramped up the state’s border security spending and maintained state troopers and resources along the border.
But critics and nonpartisan observers question whether the guardsmen and the extra spending have improved security.