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'Iowa has no choice but to act': State to send troopers to US southern border

Iowa joins Florida, Nebraska and Idaho in sending law enforcement to assist Texas and Arizona.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Troopers with the Iowa State Patrol will be sent to the U.S. southern border to assist Texas and Arizona law enforcement with border security efforts, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Thursday. 

On June 10, the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona requested law enforcement support from all 50 states. The request was made under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). 

This comes after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a 20-year high in border crossings last month. CBP reported roughly 180,000 border encounters in May alone.

CBP also reported a 233% increase in fentanyl seizures in March 2021 from the previous year. The year over year increase climbed to 300% in May. 

Reynolds' office says Iowa law enforcement officials are recovering drugs, illegal narcotics and weapons being smuggled across the nation's southern border by drug cartels. 

“My first responsibility is to the health and safety of Iowans and the humanitarian crisis at our nation’s southern border is affecting all 50 states,” Reynolds said in a release. “The rise in drugs, human trafficking, and violent crime has become unsustainable. Iowa has no choice but to act, and it’s why I am honoring Texas’ Emergency Management Assistance Compact following assurances from the Iowa Department of Public Safety that it will not compromise our ability to provide all necessary public safety services to Iowans.”  

RELATED: 'The president's problem': Gov. Reynolds declines to help house migrant children

Iowa joins three other Republican-led states in sending law enforcement to the border. Those states are Florida, Nebraska and Idaho, according to Reynolds' office. 

California and New Mexico, both led by Democratic governors, did not request assistance along their borders. 

Local 5 has reached out to DPS and to the Iowa State Patrol to find out how many troopers will be sent and how long troopers will be gone. 

DPS says 25-30 troopers will be sent to the Texas border for approximately two weeks. There are currently 360 troopers in Iowa. 

The Iowa State Patrol does not provide specific operational details of missions. 

Reynolds' office noted the Iowa National Guard is also currently conducting a mission with 24 soldiers from the Unit 2/34 IBCT to assist law enforcement at the nation's southern border. This is due to an October 2020 request from the Trump administration under Title 10 active duty mobilization orders. 

Vice President Kamala Harris is set to make her first visit to El Paso on Friday. The democrat has faced criticism from both parties for failing to go there despite her role in leading the Biden administration's response to a steep increase in migration, the Associated Press reported

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