By Charlie McCarthy
Gov. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa, has approved sending Iowa state troopers to assist officials at the southern border.
Reynolds on Thursday said she responded to the request for help by Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, because Iowa law enforcement agencies had encountered drugs and weapons that were smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border, the Des Moines Register reported.
“My first responsibility is to the health and safety of Iowans, and the humanitarian crisis at our nation’s southern border is affecting all 50 states,” Reynolds said in a statement, according to the Register.
“The rise in drugs, human trafficking and violent crime has become unsustainable. Iowa has no choice but to act, and it’s why I am honoring Texas’ Emergency Management Assistance Compact following assurances from the Iowa Department of Public Safety that it will not compromise our ability to provide all necessary public safety services to Iowans.”
The Register reported that Iowa expected to send 25 to 30 sworn officers to Texas for about two weeks.
“For officer safety purposes, the Iowa State Patrol does not provide specific operational details of missions,” Sgt. Alex Dinkla, a public information officer for the Iowa Department of Public Safety, said in a statement.
Abbott and Gov. Doug Ducey, R-Ariz., sent a letter to all state governors on June 10 requesting assistance. The letter asked that available law enforcement resources in their states be sent to help secure the border “as illegal border crossings, apprehensions and unaccompanied migrant children in federal custody increase.”
The two governors — each of whom has declared a state emergency and deployed the National Guard to the border — invoked an Emergency Management Assistance Compact that allows states to assist each other in times of disaster or emergency.
Abbott has included $1 billion in the Texas state budget to strengthen border security, which includes building a wall.
Govs. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., Brad Little, R-Idaho, and Pete Ricketts, R-Neb., have said they plan to send law enforcement to the border to provide assistance.
Last week, DeSantis said Florida would send law enforcement officers to Arizona and Texas along the border to combat a “created crisis” that has led to increased criminal activity in Florida.
“We’re here today because we have problems in Florida that are not organic to Florida that we’ve been forced to deal over many years, but particularly over the last six months because of the failure of the Biden administration to secure our southern border,” DeSantis said, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
“And, indeed, to really do anything constructive about what is going on in the southern border.”
Twenty-four Iowa National Guard members currently are conducting a mission to assist at the border following an October 2020 request from the federal government, Reynolds said.
The Register reported that Reynolds this spring declined a federal request to house migrant children who had crossed the border.
“We don’t have the facilities. We are not set up to do that,” Reynolds said in April. “This is not our problem. This is the president’s problem. He is the one that opened the borders. He needs to be responsible for this, and he needs to stop it.”