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SC sends National Guard and a helicopter to the US-Mexico border

A crew with the South Carolina Army National Guard’s 2-151st Security and Support Aviation Battalion flies one of the unit's last two OH-58 Kiowa helicopters to Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort, Ky., Jan. 24, 2013. S.C. Army National Guard Aviation has replaced the Kiowa with the LUH-72 Lakota helicopter to align with mission needs. (National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Tracci Dorgan)
May 14, 2018

The South Carolina National Guard will send troops and a helicopter to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas to support Operation Guard Support, which is helping protect and enforce the border until the wall can be built, state officials announced Friday.

One UH-72A Lakota helicopter and approximately nine soldiers and crew members from the 2-151 Security and Support Aviation Battalion are slated to depart for the border sometime this week.

“President Trump is keeping his promise to secure our border, and South Carolina is proud to help,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted on Thursday. “The great men and women of our Army National Guard are answering the call to serve in Texas in support of Operation Guardian Support.”

“Please join in thanking them for their service and praying for their safety and success in their mission,” he added.

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President Trump in April signed a proclamation that deployed the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that the White House was working with governors across the country and that the deployment hopefully begins “immediately.”

Trump had tweeted previously that the U.S. has “very weak” border laws.

“… [While] those of Mexico and Canada are very strong. Congress must change these Obama era, and other, laws NOW,” Trump tweeted. “The Democrats stand in our way – they want people to pour into our country unchecked… CRIME! We will be taking strong action today.”

Trump said earlier that he was sending the military to guard the border until the wall between the U.S. and Mexico can be built. The move would help prevent illegal crossings, the President said.

“Until we can have a wall and proper security, we are going to be guarding our border with the military. That’s a big step,” Trump had said. “We really haven’t done that before, certainly not very much before.”

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However, one state official, Orgeon Gov. Kate Brown, refused to send her state’s National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border, defying President Trump’s order to do so.

Brown, a Democrat, sent a series of tweets about the directive, which Trump said is to protect and enforce the border until the wall can be built.

“If [President Trump] asks me to deploy Oregon Guard troops to the Mexico border, I’ll say no,” she had tweeted. “As Commander of Oregon’s Guard, I’m deeply troubled by Trump’s plan to militarize our border.”

“There’s been no outreach by the President or federal officials, and I have no intention of allowing Oregon’s guard troops to be used to district from his troubles in Washington,” she added.