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Missouri sending Nat’l Guard to Texas border

Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri (Jacob Moscovitch/Getty Images/TNS)
February 22, 2024

Governor Mike Parson, a Republican, announced Tuesday that up to 200 Missouri National Guard soldiers will be activated to support Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star at the southern border between the United States and Mexico.

According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Parson visited Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas, two weeks ago with 13 other Republican governors to receive a security briefing on the state’s effort to reduce the unprecedented level of illegal immigration under President Joe Biden’s administration.

“About two weeks ago, I visited the Southern Border, and let me not mince words when I say it is a crisis,” Parson said Tuesday. “The crisis at the Southern Border is fueling the fentanyl crisis here in our state. Missourians are dying; families are being ripped apart; communities are being destroyed, and Missouri children are falling victim. It all stems from the Biden Administration’s reckless, irresponsible, and failing open-border policies. With our Southern Border wide open, every state is now a border state.” 

The Missouri governor announced that up to 200 Missouri National Guardsmen could be activated to support Texas and that 22 Missouri Highway Patrol troopers could also be deployed.

In the press release accompanying Tuesday’s announcement, Parson noted that the Missouri National Guardsmen and Missouri Highway Patrol troopers will help secure the southern border by assisting with barrier construction and security patrols. The governor also announced that the first deployment of National Guard soldiers is expected to begin on March 10.

READ MORE: Texas building massive military base on US-Mexico border

“We will continuously work with Texas to evaluate needed support moving forward,” Parson stated.

While the governor’s press release noted that Parson activated the National Guard with an executive order, he has requested that the state legislature approve a $2.3 million supplemental budget request to support the state’s border security efforts.

According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the additional National Guard troops will join approximately 250 National Guard soldiers who were previously deployed to Texas.

The Missouri governor’s decision to send additional aid to Texas follows Abbott’s announcement of a new forward operating base for Texas National Guard Troops in Eagle Pass, Texas. The 80-acre military base is expected to house up to 2,300 troops once it is completed.