Ohio will send National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border to help federal and local law enforcement respond to sustained high levels of illegal immigration.
The announcement over the weekend from Republican Gov. Mike DeWine makes it the sixth state that has volunteered its police officers or National Guard following a request from Republican Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona in June. All six volunteering states have Republican governors.
Ohio will send 185 members of its Army National Guard to the southern border, joining the ranks of Arkansas and South Dakota, which each opted to send Guard members instead of law enforcement.
Florida was the first state to send its police officers from a dozen departments statewide to help their counterparts in border states. Gov. Ron DeSantis said the prevalence of fentanyl in the northern part of the state had risen since January as the result of more coming into the United State from Mexico.
"You have a governor who is saying we'll step up to protect Floridians. This is what real leadership looks like. Leadership is not sending someone down there to beg people not to come," Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said at the press conference, referring to Vice President Kamala Harris's previous statements telling migrants not to travel to the border. "When you have chaos versus order, crime versus safety, you develop strategic enforcement actions, and you bring peace and protection to your people. That's what a leader does.”
Nebraska is sending two dozen state troopers to Texas in what Gov. Pete Ricketts said was a response to the “disastrous policies” of the Biden administration.
“While the federal government has fallen short in its response, Nebraska is happy to step up to provide assistance to Texas as they work to protect their communities and keep people safe,” Ricketts said in a statement.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in June that up to 30 state troopers will go down to the border for an indefinite duration. Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Sarah Jennings told the Daily Iowan that sending law enforcement out of state would not compromise public safety, but governors in other states are concerned that could be the case and chose instead to send military troops.
Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota pledged up to 50 state National Guard troops from a duration of 30 to 60 days. The South Dakota deployment is being funded by a private donation. Republican megadonors Willis and Reba Johnson made an unspecified gift to the state through their foundation. Willis Johnson made his billions of dollars through Copart, an automotive salvage and auction company.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson will send 40 National Guard troops to the border for 90 days, stating, “Border states have requested help, and we are answering the call.”
State National Guard forces had been left out of Abbott's and Ducey's request, as they want to give active law enforcement officers broader policing authorities. Military on the border cannot make arrests and typically serve in passive roles, such as monitoring cameras and manning unfinished portions of the border wall. However, out-of-state police will have broader policing authorities and will be able to arrest noncitizens who come across the border on trespassing charges and human smuggling charges. Normally, only federal authorities such as the Border Patrol can arrest people for immigration offenses, but the two governors expanded arrest authorities by declaring a disaster and emergency.
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Original Author: Anna Giaritelli