Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered Texas National Guard troops on Tuesday to remain at the Mexico border, extending again a mission that began in 2014 when unaccompanied children started pouring into the country and that will continue amid another wave of arrivals.

As many as 1,000 armed troops patrolled the Rio Grande Valley at the height of what the White House once called a “humanitarian crisis” of children showing up at the Texas border. Military officials who previously refused to publicly state an end date on the deployment said after Abbott’s announcement that December was supposed to have been the end of a nearly 18-month mission.

Neither Abbott nor the Texas National Guard would say when troops would now go home. Lt. Col. Travis Walters also would not disclose how many troops would remain, but said no new troops would be deployed.

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