Under pressure from fellow Republicans, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Friday announced he would deploy 50 Indiana National Guard soldiers to Texas’ border with Mexico, “effective immediately.”
He previously joined a dozen other governors at the border for a news conference, during which Texas Gov. Greg Abbott promised to expand his border strategy.
“Federal negligence enforcing immigration law and the failure to secure our country’s border jeopardizes national and economic security, affecting every state, including Indiana,” Holcomb said in a news release.
“We’ve worked too hard in Indiana attacking the drug epidemic for more Hoosier lives to be put at risk by a constant supply of killer drugs spilled over an open U.S. border,” he added. “The only way to resolve this is to stop the historically high flow of illegal immigrants crossing the border.”
Abbott and a growing number of Republican governors say President Joe Biden’s administration isn’t doing enough to stem the flow of unauthorized migrants. Texas and the federal government are clashing over a recent U.S. Supreme Court order on razor wire, access to a park along the border and more.
Border patrol agents recorded more than 300,000 apprehensions or immediate expulsions of migrants in December alone, almost 10 times the monthly average from 2013 to 2019, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
States including Arkansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Virginia previously or currently had their own guard soldiers deployed in Texas, according to a recent Newsweek article.
Holcomb noted he was sending 50 soldiers after a “recent direct request” from Abbott.
The soldiers are mobilizing now, he said, and will have a week of training at Camp Atterbury on the “operations of the mission.” They’re expected to arrive in Texas in mid-March and will deploy for 10 months.
Holcomb added that he’s had about 300 soldiers collectively deployed to Texas multiple times during his time in office for “various federal missions.”
The move came after pressure from other Republicans, including a “demand” from gubernatorial candidate Curtis Hill, a former state attorney general. Holcomb is term-limited and is not in the race.