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Noem deploying National Guard to southern border for fifth time

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(The Center Square) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is sending National Guard units to the border for the fifth time, she said Tuesday.

Sixty soldiers will deploy this spring over a three-month period, the governor said. Noem said she couldn’t give further details for security reasons. The deployment is in response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s request from other states to help with the number of migrants crossing the border.

“The border is a warzone, so we’re sending soldiers,” Noem said. “These soldiers’ primary mission will be construction of a wall to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, drug cartels, and human trafficking into the United States of America.”

Noem blamed the situation at the border for the increase in fentanyl.

“Our anti-meth and anti-opioid campaigns are working. But even with that success, a higher share of the overdoses that do occur are happening as a result of fentanyl,” the governor said in an address to a joint session of the South Dakota Legislature last month. “There has been a 40% increase in just the past two years. It is literally killing our children.”

Noem was one of 14 governors who traveled to Texas earlier this month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas could not add concertina wire barriers near Eagle Pass.

U.S. Customer Borders and Protection data shows that 243,000 people entered the country illegally during January. More than 176,000 of the entries were at the southwest border, according to the report.

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