Seven more states led by Republican governors are preparing to deploy national guardsmen and other personnel to the Texas-Mexico border.
Texas Scorecard previously reported that Florida, Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma, and North Dakota either had personnel in Texas at the border or were working to send some.
Now, after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s press conference in Eagle Pass that included 13 Republican governors, top officials in Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Utah, and Tennessee are also pledging to send troops to Texas.
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee were the first to move, pledging during the February 4 border trip to work on timelines for additional aid to Texas’ multi-agency border security effort—Operation Lone Star.
“Arkansas sent National Guard troops here last year and actually commit today that we’ll continue to do that over the course of this year as much as we can and as much as is needed until the federal government and providers step up and do their jobs,” Sanders said.
WVLT-TV 8 reported that Tennessee’s newly vowed guardsmen will actually constitute second and third waves. The first wave is expected to deploy to the border within 60 days.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parsons also promised during the trip to get more of his state’s guardsmen down to South Texas in a video posted to X.
A Missouri National Guard spokesperson told The Kansas City Star that the state already has roughly 250 guardsmen deployed at the border. However, those personnel are aiding federal Border Patrol and are not limited to Texas.
Speaking at a news conference in the Iowa State Capitol one day after returning, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she informed Abbott that her state “stands ready” to send Iowa National Guard soldiers and Iowa State Patrol officers to Texas.
“If we want this crisis to end, then we have to help stop it. Because the President won’t and hasn’t, the federal government won’t and hasn’t,” Reynolds explained.
Reynolds noted that details of the pending deployment are still being worked out with Texas authorities, according to the Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau.
Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry was the next Republican governor following the trip to pledge new support. He confirmed in a February 8 press briefing that 150 Louisiana National Guard members would be sent to the border.
Brig. Gen. Michael Greer, director of the Louisiana Military Department, later told reporters that the mission would consist of 30-day rotations for three sets of 50 troops and is expected to begin in March.
While the Louisiana troops are not tasked with detaining illegal border crossers, Greer emphasized that they will provide support to border operations through working administrative tasks, driving vehicles, and operating checkpoints.
After Landry’s announcement, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb revealed in a February 9 news release that his state would deploy 50 Indiana National Guard members to Texas “effective immediately.”
“Federal negligence enforcing immigration law and the failure to secure our country’s border jeopardizes national and economic security, affecting every state, including Indiana,” Holcomb stated.
“We’ve worked too hard in Indiana attacking the drug epidemic for more Hoosier lives to be put at risk by a constant supply of killer drugs spilled over an open U.S. border,” he continued. “The only way to resolve this is to stop the historically high flow of illegal immigrants crossing the border.”
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox also announced on February 9 that some of his state’s law enforcement and guardsmen would be heading to the border after receiving an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request from Texas.
Specifically, the state plans to send over five members of the Utah National Guard from the engineer battalion, as well as one sergeant and four troopers from the Utah Highway Patrol, for 30 days starting on February 26.
While short of a promise to send troops over, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy told reporters last week that he would like to send the Alaska National Guard to Texas but has concerns over costs and whether his Legislature will approve it.
Dunleavy insisted that if the guardsmen were to deploy, it would be under his authority, and the state would pay the bill.
The seven Republican governors who have pledged aid were all a part of the recent Eagle Pass trip and previously signed onto the January 25 joint statement in support of Abbott and Operation Lone Star.
It puts the total number of Republican states that have sent personnel to Texas or kept existing personnel in Texas to 12 since January 10.