(The Center Square) – Gov. Kevin Stitt will send Oklahoma National Guard troops to the southern border, joining other Republican governors who have made similar commitments.
Stitt said he is responding to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's call for reinforcements for the ongoing border crisis.
“As Governor, the decision to deploy members of the National Guard is not one I take lightly and, as the parent of a deployed soldier, I am acutely aware of the sacrifices made by the brave men and women of our National Guard and their families during deployment,” Stitt said. “However, I believe it is in the best interest of Oklahoma and the nation to take decisive action to address the federal government's utter failure to secure our southern border.”
Stitt did not say when or how many troops he would send.
Twelve other Republican governors have said they will help with securing the border. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem also announced this week she is sending at least 50 National Guard troops to the Texas border. Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota committed to sending 100 troops, and Arkansas Gov. Sarah Sanders said she would send 80. West Virginia's Gov. Jim Justice announced his plans to send 50 guard troops, Tennessee is sending 100, and Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia committed to sending troops.
In total, Republican governors are supplying the help of 1,305 national guardsmen and 231 law enforcement personnel, according to a letter signed by 13 governors.
“President Biden has abandoned his constitutional responsibility to secure the border and continues to fail to prevent millions of migrants from illegally crossing into our country. The illegal flow of criminals, drugs, and contraband moving across our border create an untenable situation for all states,” the letter said. “In response, Republican governors are providing support where Biden failed. The personnel and resources from our states will enhance Governor Abbott's Operation Lone Star security mission to deter and repel unlawful border crossings along the southern border.”
Stitt said he sent a letter to President Biden along with 25 other Republican governors in September asking for a meeting on the border crisis within 15 days but never received a response, the governor said.
“Republican governors continue to step up to the plate when President Biden refuses to lead; and by deploying our brave National Guard Troops, we are sending a strong message that we remain dedicated to defending our borders and upholding law and order in our nation,” said Stitt.