The State of Oklahoma is sending 50 National Guardsmen to assist Texas law enforcement on the Texas-Mexico border.
“I believe it is in the best interest of Oklahoma and the nation to take decisive action to address the federal government’s utter failure to secure our southern border,” Stitt said in a statement. “The illegal flow of criminals, drugs, and contraband moving across our border creates an untenable situation for all states.”
Oklahoma joins 12 other states that sent National Guard troops to secure the Texas-Mexico border. Republican governors across the U.S. have aided Operation Lone Star––Texas’ border security initiative––by sending 1,305 National Guardsmen and 231 law enforcement personnel.
Abbott took to Twitter to express his gratitude for Oklahoma’s support in securing the Texas-Mexico border.
Oklahoma is teaming up with Texas to help hold the line against Biden's border crisis.
Thank you, @GovStitt.
Biden's border crisis has made every state a border state.
Proud to have the support of fellow Governors as Texas continues to step up.https://t.co/DfkqqIGjTB
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 31, 2023
Border Strike Force
In September of 2021, Abbott and 25 other governors, including Stitt, sent a letter to President Biden demanding he deal with the border crisis within 15 days. Biden never responded to that letter. As a result, those 25 governors united to form the American Governers Border Strike Force.
The other states involved in the effort to secure the U.S-Mexico border amid “Joe Biden’s negligent disregard” of the border are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
“Every state is a border state and Republican governors—together—are stepping up to protect Americans where Biden has failed,” said 13 Republican governors supporting Operation Lone Star in a joint statement.
Operation Lone Star
Since March of 2021, Texas has spent $10 billion on Operation Lone Star while reporting 359,000 illegal alien apprehensions, 26,000 criminal arrests, and 23,000 felony charges on the border. Additionally, more than 359 million lethal doses of fentanyl have been seized.
However, for Chris Russo, president of Texans for Strong Borders, the success of Oklahoma’s deployment is in the hands of Abbott and Texas Border Czar Mike Banks.
“The results heavily depend upon the actions the Governor and Border Czar take with the added help of personnel from other states,” Russo told Texas Scorecard. “The next step for Texas to take is to begin actually removing apprehended illegal aliens back into Mexico.”
Stitt authorized up to 100 National Guardsmen for deployment along the Texas border near El Paso, and they will be stationed there for 30 days. The Oklahoma National Guard plans to send an additional 50 guardsmen to Texas at the start of 2024.
As facets of Operation Lone Star fall under federal investigation, Abbott and the 12 other Republican states continue to test the limits of state power.