SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem is making national headlines after announcing that up to 50 South Dakota National Guard troops are being deployed to Texas along the U.S. -Mexico border.
Noem’s announcement follows the lead of a handful of other Republican governors.
It all started with a letter from the governors of Texas and Arizona calling on other states to send law enforcement to the border quote “in defense of our sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“Cartels, human and drug smugglers and human traffickers they’re all profiting off of our open border crisis,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) said.
On Twitter, Governor Kristi Noem announced she’d be deploying South Dakota National Guard troops to help.
A news release says names of units, number of members and mission specifics will not be released. It also says a private donation will pay for the deployment. Tuesday afternoon, Noem’s communications director Ian Fury confirmed to KELOLAND News the donation was made by Willis and Reba Johnson’s Foundation directly to the state of South Dakota.
“Governor Noem welcomes any such donations to help alleviate the cost to South Dakota taxpayers,” Fury said in an email response.
Fury also said in a tweet that “The Governor has authority under SDCL 5-24-12 to accept a donation if she determines doing so is in the best interest of the State.”
Democrat state lawmaker Reynold Nesiba responded on Twitter saying our National Guardsmen are not professional soldiers for hire.
Noem’s announcement comes just days after Vice President Kamala Harris toured the southern border.
“This issue cannot be reduced to a political issue. We are talking about children, we are talking about families, we are talking about suffering, and our approach has to be thoughtful and effective,” Vice President Harris said.
Other Republican governors are also promising to help, including Ron DeSantis of Florida, Kim Reynolds of Iowa and Pete Ricketts of Nebraska.
Former President Donald Trump is also set to visit the U.S.-Mexico border Wednesday. He will join a group of Republican lawmakers and the Governor of Texas to discuss plans to continue building a border wall.
South Dakota’s initial deployment is expected to last between 30 and 60 days. Officials are working to finalize the details of the mission.
You may remember, back in 2019, in her State of the State address, Noem approved a four-solider aviation crew from the South Dakota National Guard, along with a helicopter, to deploy to the southern border in Arizona.