Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has approved using Defense Department money to pay for as many as 4,000 National Guard personnel to perform border security missions.
Mattis made the decision Friday night. It means the federal government will foot the bill for the National Guard missions, which will be performed under the command and control of the participating states.
A Pentagon memo said the authorization is valid through the current budget year, which ends Sept. 30. It did not indicate how much the missions are expected to cost.
The memo said the National Guard personnel will not perform law enforcement functions or "interact with migrants or other persons detained by" the Department of Homeland Security without Mattis's approval. It said "arming will be limited to circumstances that might require self-defense," but it did not further define that.
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