Governor Kristi Noem delivered her first State of the State address including news of South Dakota National Guard members deploying to Arizona.
The announcement at the end of her speech received a round of applause for the state’s newly sworn-in governor from a joint session of lawmakers.
This comes on a night when President Donald Trump is set to make his first address to the nation from the Oval Office where the president is considering whether to declare the situation at the southern border a national emergency.
Noem announced that on Monday, she approved a four-solider aviation crew from the South Dakota National Guard, along with a helicopter, to deploy this week to Arizona. Noem says they will support the U.S. Customs and Border Protection security along the southwest border.
The National Guard tells KELOLAND News the soldiers have already been deployed. They’re expected to be there for up to 90 days.
Earlier in her address, the governor credited South Dakota’s growing drug problem to Mexico. Noem said meth is rarely made in South Dakota anymore and that the majority of this meth is coming from Mexico.
“The fact is is that the vast majority of this meth is made in Mexico and coming illegally over our border. We are paying the price for our nation’s failure to adequately secure our southern border,” Noem said.
Lawmakers weighed in on the announcement.
“There are so many people that are not getting paid for work that they’re doing, and they’re still having to show up for work. There’s people that aren’t getting paychecks. They’re just struggling. I mean people that work, or live paycheck to paycheck, so no, I don’t think that we should be putting South Dakota money towards that,” Democratic Rep. Kelly Sullivan, who represents District 13, said.
“The question of how we strengthen the border has yet to be determined. But I’m absolutely in favor of doing what we can to help strengthen our southern border,” Republican Rep. Chris Johnson, who represents District 32, said.
As the government shutdown drags on, President Donald Trump is hoping to make his case in an Oval Office address to the American people that his demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall is necessary to combat what he says is an immigration ‘crisis.’
CBS News will bring you President Trump’s speech and the Democrats’ response beginning at 8 p.m. central time on KELOLAND-TV and online.