South Dakota Mobilizes National Guard in Response to Texas Border Crisis

Kristi Noem | Source:

In an effort to aid Texas in handling the escalating illegal immigration crisis, South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem has mobilized National Guard troops from her state. She announced that 60 members of the South Dakota National Guard are set to be deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border this spring, with their primary mission being the construction of a border wall.

Noem referred to the border as a “warzone” in her statement on Feb. 20. This marks a continuation of South Dakota’s support for Texas’ border security efforts, as it was the first state to respond to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s call for assistance two and a half years ago.

The decision to construct a border wall comes in the wake of the Biden administration’s legal action against Texas, which resulted in a Supreme Court ruling allowing federal agents to remove razor wire from the border. This followed President Biden’s executive order halting federal construction of the border wall, a major initiative of former President Donald Trump. Biden labeled the wall as a “waste of money” and a diversion from actual threats to homeland security in a proclamation made on Jan. 20, 2021.

Abbott, responding to Biden’s decision, announced plans for Texas to build its own border barrier as illegal immigration into the state reached near-record levels. The Biden administration later sold off border wall materials worth millions of dollars, drawing criticism from Republicans. Biden justified the move by explaining that the funds had already been allocated and couldn’t be used for other purposes.

Meanwhile, other states have also pledged support for Texas’ border security efforts. Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Jeff Landry announced on Feb. 8 that his state would send 150 National Guard troops to Texas, working in three 50-man rotations over a 90-day deployment period starting in March. He cited the need to address issues like human trafficking and the fentanyl crisis, which he said claims 125,000 American lives annually.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also recently revealed plans to send additional National Guard, State Guard and Highway Patrol officers to assist Texas. “If we don’t have a border, then we are not a sovereign country,” DeSantis stated on Feb. 1. Indiana’s Gov. Eric Holcomb also announced on Feb. 9 the deployment of 50 Indiana National Guard troops to assist with border security efforts in Texas.