U.S. News

South Dakota sends National Guard troops to Texas

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced Tuesday that she will join a growing list of Republican governors dispatching law enforcement officers to the United States border with Mexico.
Noem’s announcement that she will send up to 50 South Dakota National Guard soldiers to Texas comes as the Republican Party escalates a political battle with President Joe Biden over border security. The issue has attracted a host of prominent GOP figures: Former President Donald Trump was due to travel to the border this week, and the Republican governors of Florida, Nebraska and Iowa have pledged to send law enforcement officers to protect the border.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced plans this month to build more barriers along the border.
Abbott’s new company was criticized as political theater, but he defended the plan, saying the number of border workers was still high. The governor said he will use $ 250 million in government funding and crowdfunding for the barriers, although the timing and cost of the push is unclear. He also faces potential legal challenges from the federal government.
Large numbers of migrants have turned up at the US-Mexico border, many of whom turned themselves in to US Border Protection agents to seek legal asylum. But the number of families and children traveling to the United States without their parents entering the United States has dropped dramatically since March and April, while encounters with single adults have remained high.
A private donation will fund the deployment of South Dakota National Guard forces, Noem said. The deployment is said to last 30 to 60 days, while the other participating states send law enforcement agencies for about two weeks.
Noem, who is considered a potential presidential candidate, highlighted her decision to send in the National Guard and other governors who send state police officers.
“The border is a national security crisis that requires a sustained response that only the National Guard can provide,” she said in a statement. “We should not make our communities less safe by dispatching our police or Highway Patrol to solve a long-term problem that the Biden administration does not seem able or willing to solve.”
The governor’s spokesman, Ian Fury, said the donation for the effort comes from the Willis Foundation and Reba Johnson. Willis Johnson, founder of a Tennessee-based online used car auction called Copart, regularly makes large donations to Republicans, including $ 200,000 to Trump’s Victory Committee last year.
Fury said “the governor welcomes such donations to reduce costs for South Dakota taxpayers,” but declined to provide estimates of the cost of the operation, citing “security reasons.”
However, Democratic State Sen. Reynold Nesiba said that the fact that Noem is using a donor to pay for participation shows that this is not a “real priority” for the state, but rather gives it “political coverage” and checks if it is legal to use a private donation to finance the operation.
This could set a dangerous precedent by allowing anonymous political donors to call the governor and dispatch the guard whenever they want, ”he said.
Meanwhile, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said he had rejected a request from Texas to provide state troops. Hutchinson said sending National Guard troops is still an option and he has asked the adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard to look into that possibility.
“Due to the public safety that we have here in Arkansas and the important work they do here, I am not going to send the Arkansas State Police to the border,” he told reporters.

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