South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Tuesday announced that her state is sending dozens of National Guard troops to Texas to help the Lone Star State deal with the continuing crisis at the southern border, after an appeal for help from Gov. Greg Abbott.
Noem announced that 50 South Dakota National Guard troops would be sent to Texas to secure the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Her office said the deployment will last for between 30 and 60 days, and that it will be paid for via a private donation.
“The Biden administration has failed in the most basic duty of the federal government: keeping the American people safe,” Noem said in a statement announcing the deployment. “The border is a national security crisis that requires the kind of sustained response only the National Guard can provide.”
Earlier this month, both Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued a call to other states for help to stem the crisis at the border, which has seen a massive number of migrants in recent months – with more than 180,000 encounters in May alone.
“On behalf of Texas and Arizona, we respectfully but urgently request that you send all available law-enforcement resources to the border in defense of our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Republican governors wrote in a letter to their counterparts.
Both states have sued over the Biden administration’s policies, arguing that border states are hurt the most by the relaxing of Trump-era border and enforcement measures.
But the governors warned other states that the crisis will have an effect on their states too.
“This failure to enforce federal immigration laws causes banns that spill over into every state. The cartels will see to it that their deadly fentanyl and human-trafficking victims reach far and wide,” the letter said. “The convicted criminals they smuggle into the homeland will bring recidivism with them to far too many of your communities.”
Noem used her statement to blame the Biden administration for the crisis – which a number of Republicans and Trump-era officials have done, pointing to its rolling back of Trump border protections and policies. The Biden administration has instead pointed to “root causes” of the crisis like poverty, climate change and violence in Central America.
“We should not be making our communities less safe by sending our police or Highway Patrol to fix a long-term problem President Biden’s administration seems unable or unwilling to solve,” Noem said. “My message to Texas is this: help is on the way.”
South Dakota is the latest state to respond to that appeal from Arizona and Texas. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced this month that his state would send 50 law enforcement officers to help tackle the surge.
In a press conference, DeSantis said that mission funding was still a “point of discussion.”
“Typically, if someone would help us, you know, we would pick up some of their funding and so that is how we would hope that it goes,” the governor said. “But we do not anticipate getting any federal funds.”
The announcement comes after Vice President Kamala Harris visited El Paso, Texas, last week after months of criticism for failing to visit the border as part of her effort to lead talks to tackle “root causes” of the crisis.
Republicans criticized the visit, particularly the location – choosing El Paso rather than the harder hit Rio Grande Valley sector.
Fox News’ Houston Keene contributed to this report.