South Dakota Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemSouth Dakota GOP lawmakers summon two employees for Noem inquiry Republicans' mantra should have been 'Stop the Spread' Biden presses companies to get ahead of vaccine mandate MORE (R) is deploying National Guard troops to Texas to help “secure” the U.S.-Mexico border, she announced Tuesday.
The move comes as record numbers of people, mostly from Central America, seek asylum at the U.S. southern border. Republicans have seized on the border crossings in recent months, blaming President BidenJoe BidenBiden: Democrats' spending plan is 'a bigger darn deal' than Obamacare Biden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Biden: Comment that DOJ should prosecute those who defy subpoenas 'not appropriate' MORE and his administration for failing to adequately secure the border.
“The border is a national security crisis that requires the kind of sustained response only the National Guard can provide,” Noem, who’s seen as a potential 2024 presidential contender, said in a statement.
“We should not be making our own communities less safe by sending our police or Highway Patrol to fix a long-term problem President Biden’s Administration seems unable or unwilling to solve.”
Noem’s office said that the initial deployment of as many as 50 South Dakota National Guard troops will last between 30 and 60 days and will be paid for with a private donation. It’s not clear yet what their mission will be, but Noem’s office said that state officials are working to finalize the details of the effort.
Noem’s decision to deploy National Guard troops to Texas comes days after another prospective Republican presidential candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Key CDC panel backs Moderna, J&J boosters GOP senators call on Biden to back down from vaccine mandates DeSantis to call special session of legislature to fight vaccine mandates MORE, announced his own plans to send 50 state law enforcement officers to Texas to help secure the southern border.
Former President TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE, who has floated the idea of another bid for the White House in 2024, is expected to visit the U.S.-Mexico border with Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Key CDC panel backs Moderna, J&J boosters GOP senators call on Biden to back down from vaccine mandates DeSantis to call special session of legislature to fight vaccine mandates MORE (R) this week.
Border security and the record number of asylum claims has emerged as a key line of attack for Republicans ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. The GOP likely needs to gain only a half dozen or so seats in the House next year to recapture a majority in the lower chamber, and they need to pick up just one seat in the Senate.
Vice President Harris, who has been put in charge of overseeing migration from Central America, paid a visit to the southern border on Friday after facing weeks of criticism from Republicans for not traveling there earlier.