When Gov. Rick Perry of Texas announced plans to deploy 1,000 National Guard troops to help with the border crisis, it came with a power unexpected by some. By deploying them himself rather than through Washington, he has the power to order the troops to make arrests and apprehensions, something Guard troops in past border deployments have been prohibited from doing. Immigrant rights advocates and others, including former federal officials involved in previous National Guard mobilizations, said the troops would lack both training and federal oversight, creating a risk of civil rights violations and deadly encounters with immigrants. “This does not come from the federal government,” said Jayson P. Ahern, a former Customs and Border Protection acting commissioner who helped coordinate deployment of the National Guard to the border in 2006. “That’s the biggest distinction here. This is the governor taking unilateral action. Not having that oversight and supervision and direction as part of a plan from the federal authorities, I think it is reckless and could lead to significant safety issues.”More
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