The governors of Virginia and West Virginia are the latest Republican state leaders to announce deployments of National Guard troops to assist Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's border security efforts.
On Wednesday morning, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced he would deploy 100 of his state's National Guard troops to Texas.
In a Wednesday morning press conference, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice also announced he would deploy 50 of his state's National Guard troops to Texas.
"I know our National Guard will do incredible work, and we'll wish them Godspeed to get home safe and sound," Justice said. "I thank them all for their incredible bravery and for stepping up yet again to answer the call."
Abbott has been using Texas state resources in recent months in a mission to stem the flow of illegal border crossings into the country. In recent weeks, Texas National Guard troops and Department of Public Safety officers have been seen setting up razor fences and turning back people attempting to cross from Mexico into Texas illegally.
Abbott has stepped up this border security effort after President Joe Biden's administration ended the federal Title 42 immigration policy on May 11. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, U.S. officials had used Title 42 authorities to rapidly turn away and expel illegal immigrants under public health justifications.
Other States Sending TroopsFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis was among the first Republican governors to pledge specific resources to Abbott’s border security mission. On May 16, DeSantis announced his state would send 800 Florida National Guard soldiers, 200 Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers, 20 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers, and 20 Emergency Management personnel to Texas. DeSantis also pledged five fixed-wing aircraft, two mobile command vehicles, 17 unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), and 10 watercraft.
“America continues to face an unprecedented border crisis that threatens our nation’s security and the safety of Tennesseans,” Lee said of the deployment.
“The federal government owes Americans a plan to secure our country, and in the meantime, states continue to answer this important call to service," Lee added. "I am again authorizing the Tennessee National Guard to help secure the Southern border, and I commend these troops for providing critical support.”
Post-Title 42 Border PoliciesBefore the end of Title 42, the Biden administration implemented a policy (pdf) disqualifying people from applying for asylum in the United States if they didn’t first seek protection in countries they passed through on their way to the United States.
While federal border authorities and officials in border communities have braced for a surge in border crossings, it’s not entirely clear that such a surge has emerged since the end of Title 42.