Teamwork: States Hundreds of Miles from Border Sending Fire Support


Democrats may be trying to block President Donald Trump’s plans for the southern border wall, but several states are now stepping up to deal with border security even if Washington keeps dragging its feet.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott revealed that he has assurances from two southern governors that they will help provide National Guard troops, despite not being border states themselves.

“I’ve received phone calls already from governors in other states,” the Republican told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto.

“I got a phone call from the governor of South Carolina. I know the governor of Arkansas. The governors of other states want to step up and help out by providing National Guard [troops],” he said.

Abbott himself just confirmed that Texas will deploy an extra 1,000 National Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexico border, bolstering the often inadequate security.

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Texas isn’t alone. The governors of Arizona and New Mexico have also made similar commitments for National Guard security, which will focus on reducing illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

Abbott acknowledged that the federal government has been slow in solving the border concerns, but reassured Americans that Texas and other states are taking a long-term approach to fixing the problem.

“They (the National Guard) are going to be there, I perceive, a long time — years,” Abbot said. “Because if you just look at what the president said, he said that this is a gap filler until he gets funding for the wall and greater border security.”

Trump’s call for a wall was a major part of his campaign platform, but so far the project has moved slowly. Liberals have opposed the plan from the start, and even Republican lawmakers seem hesitant to fund the the massive barrier.

Do you support the use of the National Guard to secure the border?

As an alternative plan, the president called on state Guard units to deploy along the border, especially in response to a “caravan” of illegal immigrants which had been making its way from Central America toward the United States.

“A key and undeniable attribute of a sovereign nation is the ability to control who and what enters its territory,” the president said in a memo, according to USA Today.

“The situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis,” Trump declared.

Not every state has answered the call, but many have.

“The goal is to have at least 4,000 (from all participating states) deployed in a month or two,” Abbott told KTLA radio last week. “We should be adding 300 a week until we get staffed up.”

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National Guard deployments may not be a perfect solution, but it’s a good example of how individual states can make a difference even when the colossal federal government fails to act.

All too often, we think of the U.S. government as one capitol building in Washington, when one of the genius ideas of the founders was for states to retain local power and control whenever possible. National Guard units — which are under the command of governors, not the president — are a huge part of that structure.

Recognizing that border security impacts the individual states is an important wakeup call. It’s time for teamwork on this issue, even if D.C. is stuck in the bureaucratic muck.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.