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National Guard: Length Of Border Mission A First

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U.S. Border Patrol agents chase undocumented immigrants through ranchland on July 25, 2014 near Falfurrias, Texas. (credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

U.S. Border Patrol agents chase undocumented immigrants through ranchland on July 25, 2014 near Falfurrias, Texas. (credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The commander overseeing 1,000 National Guard troops being sent to the Rio Grande Valley says the open-ended mission is a first for the reserve military force.

Maj. Gen. John Nichols told lawmakers Tuesday in Austin that although the National Guard has been sent to the border twice since 2006, it has never faced such a potentially long-term deployment. Nichols has said they’ve planned to be on the border for a year.

Gov. Rick Perry last month announced the deployment. His orders came as the U.S. Border Patrol grappled with an overwhelming surge of unaccompanied children coming into Texas.

The deployment will cost the state upward of $3 million a week. Perry has said the Guardsmen are necessary to help free up state troopers who are pursuing crime along the border.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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