April 7 (Reuters) - The Texas National Guard has begun deploying troops to help secure the state's southern border with Mexico as President Donald Trump has been unable to get the U.S. Congress or Mexico to fully fund his proposed wall along the border.
The deployment, announced on Friday by Texas officials, comes after Trump directed Defense Secretary James Mattis to request the use of National Guard personnel to help the Department of Homeland Security secure the border in four southwestern U.S. states, including Texas.
Mattis on Friday authorized the funding for up to 4,000 National Guard troops for the operation through Sept. 30, a Department of Defense memo showed.
The troops will be under the "command and control" of their respective governors, it said.
Trump has failed so far to persuade either the Mexican government or the U.S. Congress to fully fund a wall he wants to build along the border. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday sharply rebuked Trump over the plan.
The Texas Army National Guard said 250 guardsmen along with aircraft, vehicles and surveillance equipment were to be deployed along the state's border with Mexico within the next 72 hours.
Exact details of the mission, including the total number of troops to be deployed and the cost, were yet to be determined, Brigadier General Tracy Norris, commander of the Texas Army National Guard, told a news conference.
Photos of the week: 3/30 - 4/6
Photos of the week: 3/30 - 4/6
San Mateo County SWAT team officers are seen near Youtube headquarters following an active shooter situation in San Bruno, California, U.S., April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
KYANGWALI, UGANDA - APRIL 03: Young refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo wait to be processed at the Kagoma reception centre on April 3, 2018 in Kyangwali, Uganda. More than 65,000 people have arrived in Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Congo since the beginning of 2018 as they escape violence in the Ituri province. The majority of refugees are arriving by boat across Lake Albert, which lies between the two countries. With refugee settlements in Uganda almost at maximum capacity there are plans for new settlements to be built to deal with the continuing influx of people. A cholera outbreak in the settlements has left at least 36 dead and many hundreds severely affected. Fighting in DRC between the Hema and Lendu communities has seen villages being burnt and dozens killed in the fresh outbreak of violence. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 04: Jo-Lynn Gilliam (C) of East Point, Georgia, sings 'This Little Light of Mine' with thousands of others on the National Mall during a prayer rally to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination April 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. Organized by A.C.T. To End Racism, religious leaders and others gathered to memorialize the day that Nobel Peace Prize and American civil rights leader King was killed while supporting a sanitation workers strike in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Teachers pack the state Capitol rotunda to capacity, on the second day of a teacher walkout, to demand higher pay and more funding for education, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S., April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
US President Donald Trump, with First Lady Melania Trump, speaks during the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 2, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
A shark swims near a police boat off the coast of South Australiain this March 31, 2018 photo obtained from social media.
(South Australia Police/via REUTERS)
Mixed Martial Arts fighter Conor McGregor is escorted by New York City Police (NYPD) detectives from the 78th police precinct after charges were laid against him in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, U.S., April 6, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
ZAMORA, SPAIN - MARCH 30: Penitents from the 'La Real Cofradia del Santo Entierro de Zamora' brotherhood take part in a procession on March 30, 2018 in Zamora, Spain. The Holy Week celebrations in Zamora are steeped in history, faith and culture, and date back to the 13th century remaining practically unchanged since that time. Penitent Brotherhoods walk in procession around the city day and night accompanied by hundreds of barefoot brothers with precious relics from the city's churches. In 1986, Holy Week in Zamora was declared a point of tourist interest of Spain, proving a popular destination in the lead-up to Easter. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)
Alex Van der Zwaan, former associate at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom UK LLP, center, exits as a man holds a sign reading 'Lock Em Up!' outside Federal Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. Dutch lawyer Van der Zwaan who lied about his contacts with a top Trump campaign official and an alleged Russian spy was ordered Tuesday to serve 30 days in prison, becoming the first person sentenced in Special Counselï¿½Robert Mueller's sprawling investigation. Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Stevante Clark, brother of Stephon Clark, hugs a supporter at a rally in Sacramento, California, U.S., March 31, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
Pope Francis kisses a child as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. (Photo by Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 04: The sun rises at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the 50th anniversary of King's assassination April 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. A prayer march organized by A.C.T. To End Racism brought together religious leaders and others to memorialize the day that Nobel Peace Prize and American civil rights leader King was killed while supporting a sanitation workers strike in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
CHENGDU, CHINA - APRIL 03: A young panda eats bamboo shoots at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base on April 3, 2018 in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. First built in 1987, the facility cares for more than 100 giant pandas. The aim of the base is to increase the captive population of giant pandas and ultimately to reintroduce them to the wild.The population of captive giant pandas stood at 520 worldwide by 2017, according to the annual conference of the giant panda breeding technology committee of China. (Photo by Wang He/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - South African school children pause next to a portrait of the late South African anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ex-wife of African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela, at her house on April 3, 2018 in Soweto.
South Africa's President paid tribute to anti-apartheid activist Winnie Mandela, who died on April 2, saying that Nelson Mandela's former wife was a 'voice of defiance' against white-minority rule. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian Christians attend a service on Easter Sunday at the Saint Porfirios church in Gaza City April 1, 2018. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
NORRISTOWN, PA - APRIL 2: Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse before jury selection in his sexual assault retrial April 2, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 80 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Children sleep while riding on a bus with fellow Central American migrants, as part of a caravan moving through Mexico toward the U.S. border, on a highway in Puebla state, Mexico April 6, 2018. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A worker holds the body of an unborn baby whose mother was killed by an airstrike in Hodeida, Yemen April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad
Ethan Couch closes the door to a vehicle that was waiting for him after being released from the Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, Texas, U.S., April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Britain's Prince Charles holds a baby green sea turtle at Lady Elliot Island, Australia April 6, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble
TOPSHOT - A picture taken on March 27, 2018 by resident Camilla Daae-Qvale and provided by NTB Scanpix news agency on March 28, 2018 shows the house of Daae-Qvale's neighbour Bente Andreassen with a snow cornice overhanging their cabin, in Sarnes, Finnsnes, Norway.
Camilla Daae-Qvale sent these pictures to her neighbour, who after seeing the photo chose to cancel their planned Easter holiday trip. Recently there have been increasingly reports of avalanches across the whole of Norway. / AFP PHOTO / NTB Scanpix / Camilla Daae-Qvale / Norway OUT (Photo credit should read CAMILLA DAAE-QVALE/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One on a windy day at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland before departing en route West Virginia, U.S., April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A picture taken on April 2, 2018 in Sion, western Switzerland, shows Tourbillon Castle (L) and Valere Basilica fortified church (R), overlooking the city.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on April 3, 2018 announced that seven National Olympic Committees with cities of Graz, Calgary, Cortina dAmpezzo/Milan/Turin Sapporo, Stockholm, Sion and Erzurum have expressed official interest in hosting the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.
/ AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
PRIMORYE TERRITORY, RUSSIA - APRIL 4, 2018: A Sukhoi Su-35S jet fighter launches free-flight missiles to hit ground targets at a firing range as part of the district stage of the 2018 Aviadarts military aviation competition held at Tsentralnaya-Uglovaya airfield, Primorye Territory where pilots compete in conducting air reconnaissance, performing aerobatics, penetrating air defence systems, engage in air combats, etc. Yuri Smityuk/TASS (Photo by Yuri Smityuk\TASS via Getty Images)
Shinmoedake peak spews molten lava as the peak erupts between Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, southwestern Japan, in this photo taken by a remote camera and released by Kyodo April 5, 2018. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN.
A Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) ranger covers an eye of 4-year-old female Southern white rhino, Abby, to cut the light after being tranquilized during rhino ear notching exercise for identification at Meru National Park, 350 km from Nairobi, Kenya, on April 5, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Yasuyoshi CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)
A child raises his hands while sledding during snowfall at Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York, U.S., April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
BATH, ENGLAND - APRIL 06: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation attend the UK Team Trials for the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 at the University of Bath Sports Training Village on April 6, 2018 in Bath, England. The Invictus Games Sydney 2018 will take place from 20-27th October and will see over 500 competitors from 18 nations compete in 11 adaptive sports. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 5: Mourners embrace as they arrive before a rally in protest of the police-involved shooting death of Saheed Vassell, in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, April 5, 2018 in New York City. Saheed Vassell, 34, was killed by police officers on Wednesday afternoon in Crown Heights. He was unarmed but was reportedly acting erratic and wielding a curved silver pipe that witnesses thought could have been a gun. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
TIJUANA, MEXICO - APRIL 05: A girl sits near the border fence on the beach at the U.S.-Mexico border on April 5, 2018 in Tijuana, Mexico. President Trump has issued a decree for the National Guard to guard the 3,200 kilometer border between the United States and Mexico. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
A guereza monkey (Colobus Guereza) jumps with a newborn baby at Prague Zoo, Czech Republic, April 5, 2018. REUTERS/David W Cerny TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Israeli soldiers are seen next to the border fence on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border as Palestinians protest on the Gaza side of the border April 6, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Border patrol agents apprehend immigrants who illegally crossed the border from Mexico into the U.S. in the Rio Grande Valley sector, near McAllen, Texas, U.S., April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Loren Elliott TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
TOPSHOT - Children look out of the window of a bus upon their arrival at the Abu al-Zindeen checkpoint near the northern Syrian town of al-Bab after Jaish al-Islam fighters and their families from the former rebel bastion's main town of Douma were evacuated from the last rebel-held pocket in Eastern Ghouta on April 3, 2018.
Russia-backed regime forces have retaken control of 95 percent of Eastern Ghouta since February 18 through a combination of a deadly air and ground assault and evacuation deals. / AFP PHOTO / Nazeer al-Khatib (Photo credit should read NAZEER AL-KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture shows a camel's eye prior to a camel race in Kabad, southwest of Kuwait City on March 31, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / YASSER AL-ZAYYAT (Photo credit should read YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images)
A Russian soldier walks inside a tunnel that was used by rebels in Jobar, eastern Ghouta, in Damascus, Syria April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
A Palestinian protects himself from inhaling tear gas at the Israel-Gaza border during a protest demanding the right to return to their homeland, in the southern Gaza Strip April 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Men throw water on women as part of traditional Easter celebrations in Mezokovesd, Hungary, April 1, 2018. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Forensic investigators examine the pavement and carriageway on Chalgrove Road, where a teenage girl was murdered, in Tottenham, Britain, April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Skye Kennedy (C), 5, Seamus Menefee (L), 7, and Jack Kennedy, 8, participate in the egg roll during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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The National Guard has operated along the border for decades. About 100 members of the Texas Military Department are currently assigned along the border in an "observe and report" role, Norris noted.
In Arizona, some 150 National Guard members will be sent to the border next week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said in a Tweet on Friday.
The Department of Homeland Security has identified security vulnerabilities that could be addressed by the National Guard, Mattis and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said in a joint statement on Friday.
Nielsen said this week that the troops would not be involved in law enforcement.
In a supporting role, possibly for aerial reconnaissance, the Guard will help U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel with stopping illegal immigrants from entering the country, Nielsen said.
In keeping with a theme he often invoked as a candidate in 2016 and has continually returned to since taking office, Republican Trump has sharpened his anti-immigrant rhetoric, warning that illegal immigrants threaten U.S. safety and jobs.
"It sounds to me more like political rhetoric than something that is actually needed on our border," Representative Vicente Gonzalez, a Texas Democrat whose district includes the border city of McAllen, told the New York Times.