LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that she is directing the Arkansas National Guard to deploy to the southern border of the United States in response to a call for aid from Texas state officials.
Sanders said the guardsmen would assist Texas troops with the surge of migrants at the southern border. The deployment is set to include approximately 80 guardsmen and is scheduled for July.
The Republican governor contended the move was necessary due to immigration policies from the Biden Administration, claiming the decision by President Joe Biden to end Title 42, a pandemic-era policy that expedited the removal of immigrants, was a threat that “puts the entire country at risk.”
“President Biden’s failure at our southern border puts the entire country at risk. States must now step up where the President has failed to repel illegals, fight the cartels, and stop human and drug trafficking,” Sanders said in a statement. “Arkansans have always been quick to step up when others are in need – this time is no different.”
Arkansas National Guard adjutant general Maj. Gen. Jonathan Stubbs said his force was “uniquely qualified” for the task and that they have been providing this service for other agencies “for years.”
“The Arkansas National Guard is uniquely qualified to assist with border control operations,” Stubbs said in a statement. “Our Soldiers and Airmen have been providing these same capabilities to combatant commanders and local law enforcement agencies for years.”
Former Gov. Asa Hutchinson deployed the Arkansas National Guard to the border in 2021 to assist with border security efforts.
At that time 11 guardsmen from the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade at Camp Robinson were deployed with a mission of helping repair and maintain the vehicles of the Texas National Guard.
The statement from the governor’s office noted that Arkansas National Guard troops were also deployed to the border in 2006 and 2008 to assist Border Patrol agents.
On Wednesday, three other Republican governors said they would also send support to Texas, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.
There have also been earlier pledges of support from the GOP leaders of Florida, Mississippi, Iowa, Tennessee and Nebraska.