Virginia and West Virginia Governors Send National Guard Troops to Texas Border

The Republican governors of Virginia and West Virginia have both announced that they will be sending National Guard troops to Texas to aid in the state’s border security efforts.

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin said Wednesday morning that he would send 100 members of the state’s National Guard to Texas.

According to Youngkin, the never-ending situation at the border has made every state a border state. States are stepping up to help with border security, fentanyl reduction, human trafficking, and humanitarian crises while federal solutions fall short. After a briefing from Governor Abbott last week, Virginia is following suit with other states to fulfill his request for supplemental aid.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice held a press conference on Wednesday morning to announce that he would send 50 members of the state’s National Guard to Texas.

Knowing his National Guard members would do outstanding work, Justice wished them good luck and safe travels home. Justice also appreciated their extraordinary bravery and willingness to help.

In recent months, Abbott has started using Texas state resources to reduce the number of people crossing the border illegally into the United States. There have been reports in recent weeks of the Texas National Guard and Department of Public Safety officers erecting razor wire fences and turning back migrants trying to enter from Mexico into Texas illegally.

In response to the rapid spread of COVID-19, U.S. authorities used Title 42 authorities to reject and deport illegal immigrants on public health grounds. After President Biden’s administration terminated the federal Title 42 immigration program on May 11, Abbott increased his border security efforts.

On May 16, twenty-four Republican governors, including Youngkin and Justice, signed a letter promising to back Abbott’s border security initiative. Since then, several Republican governors have sent National Guard troops and state police to the border to aid in the ongoing fight to keep illegal immigration to a minimum.

Among the first Republican governors to commit substantial resources to Abbott’s border security effort was Florida’s Ron DeSantis. DeSantis said on May 16 that 800 members of the Florida National Guard, 200 police from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 20 officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and 20 members of the Florida Emergency Management Agency would be deployed to Texas. DeSantis also promised ten boats, two mobile command vehicles, seventeen drones, and five fixed-wing planes.

On May 17, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves stated that members of the 112th Military Police Battalion of the Mississippi National Guard would be deployed to the southwestern border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and agents.

On May 24, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee made it public that he had given the green light for the deployment of one hundred members of the Tennessee National Guard to the border. According to Lee, these soldiers will conduct border patrols, provide an extra layer of security, maintain outposts, and aid in clearing roads and routes, erecting barriers, and cleaning up waste.

In explaining the deployment, Lee stated that the United States is still dealing with a historic border crisis that endangers the country and the safety of Tennesseans.

The Biden Administration owes Americans a plan to secure the country. Meanwhile, states continue to answer this critical call to service, Lee added.

On May 24, Jim Pillen, Nebraska Governor, made public his intention to send ten Nebraska State Patrol officers to Texas to aid Governor Abbott in his efforts to secure the state’s border.