Republican-led states are now sending resources to Texas in hopes of shoring up America's defenses and providing some relief at the state's beleaguered border with Mexico. The help is desperately needed, and the Biden administration does not otherwise appear up to the task.
Tennessee, Nebraska, Florida, Idaho, and Mississippi are among the red states that have stepped up to and into the breach, committing troops, law enforcement agents, support vehicles, and other resources.
What's the background?
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote to his fellow Republican governors on May 16, stating, "We, as Governors, must band together to combat President Biden's ongoing border crisis and ensure the safety and security that all Americans deserve."
Abbott added, "Join us in the mission to defend our national sovereignty and territorial integrity and send all available law enforcement personnel and resources to the Texas-Mexico border to serve alongside our thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers."
Roused by Abbott's letter, or perhaps just remembering the Alamo, 24 Republican governors led by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds responded with a joint statement in support of Abbott's Operation Lone Star.
"The federal government’s response handling the expiration of Title 42 has represented a complete failure of the Biden Administration," they wrote. "While the federal government has abdicated its duties, Republican governors stand ready to protect the U.S.-Mexico border and keep families safe."
The joint statement added, "All states have suffered from the effects of deadly illegal drugs coming across the border, and every state is a border state due to the devastating influx of drugs in our communities. Republican governors are leading the way to address the border crisis by increasing fentanyl sentencing and increasing support for law enforcement interdiction of drugs, among other measures."
One week later, Abbott hosted nine of his fellow Republican governors for a border security briefing. Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves were among those present.
Gov. Ron DeSantis stated on May 19, "Operation Lone Star is underway with Florida deploying law enforcement officers and special agents to protect the Southern Border in Texas. When the federal government refuses to step up — Florida stands ready to serve."
DeSantis' office announced Thursday that Florida's assets "are on-scene to assist the State of Texas," including 800 Florida National Guard troops; 200 Florida Department of Law Enforcement officersalong with support staff; 101 Florida Highway Patrol troopers; two fix-wing aircraft for monitoring and patrol of the border; two mobile command vehicles; and five unmaned aerial vehicle pilots with 17 drones for overwatch.
Fox News Digital indicated that Florida's latest contribution altogether amounts to over 1,100 assets.
Gov. Pillen authorized the deployment of 10 Nebraska state troopers to Texas on Wednesday, stating, "Nebraska is committed to using every tool in its tool box to help stop the influx of illegal immigration at our southern border. Illegal immigration hurts our nation's security, undermines the rule of law, and threatens the wellbeing of our state."
The troopers are all reportedly trained drone operators who will provide assistance to Texas law enforcement at the border.
Abbot thanked Pillen, noting, "Texas, along with our partners from Idaho, Florida, and now Nebraska, will work to provide the security Americans deserve."
Gov. Little revealed on May 19 that twelve Idaho State Police officers, six with the Domestic Highway Enforcement Team and six comprising SWAT troopers, were on the way "to secure the border and improve Idaho’s ability to interdict illicit drugs to protect Idahoans."
"The focus of the mission is two-fold – the ISP troopers will serve as a force multiplier for the State of Texas when there is an increased need for law enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border, and our troopers will receive on-the-job training and experience up-to-the-minute enforcement techniques that can be brought back and immediately applied in Idaho," said the governor.
Lee, who indicated help was on the way earlier this week, reaffirmed his commitment Friday, writing, "The crisis at our nation’s southern border is too big to ignore—drug trafficking and human trafficking continues to escalate, fueling crime across the country. While the federal government fails to act, Tennesseans are stepping up to serve & protect Americans."
Lee authorized the deployment of 100 Tennessee National Guard troops Wednesday to secure the border.
"The federal government owes Americans a plan to secure our country, and in the meantime, states continue to answer this important call to service," said Lee. "I am again authorizing the Tennessee National Guard to help secure the Southern border, and I commend these troops for providing critical support."
The TNG troops deployed at month's end will: execute patrols and provide additional security presence along the border; assist road and route clearance, barrier placement, and debris removal; and staff outpost operations.
Gov. Tate Reeves stated on May 17, "What happens at the border doesn’t stay there. Drugs and people are trafficked to every state in the nation - including Mississippi. To keep Mississippians safe and limit the impact of our nation’s open borders, the Mississippi National Guard’s 112th Military Police Battalion has been mobilized and is supporting Customs and Border Protection officers and agents along the Southwest border."
"Mississippi stands with those trying to secure our border and we will continue to do everything we can to assist. I’m thankful for the service of Mississippi’s brave Guardsmen, CBP and everyone else working to keep us safe," added Reeves.
The Associated Press reported that Reeves mobilized a National Guard unit to aid with America's defense in Texas.
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