PHOENIX (AP) — President Donald Trump said Thursday that he wants to send between 2,000 and 4,000 National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border to help federal officials fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking, but it wasn't clear who would be called up or if they would even be allowed to carry guns.
Trump's comments to reporters on Air Force One were his first estimate on guard levels he believes are needed for border protection. It is lower than the 6,400 National Guard members that former President George Bush sent to the border between 2006 and 2008.
Trump said his administration is looking into the cost of sending the troops to the border and added "we'll probably keep them or a large portion of them until the wall is built."
Earlier Thursday, Ronald Vitiello, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's acting deputy commissioner, cautioned against a rushed deployment.
US News and World Report