New Hampshire is deploying two National Guard units to the southern border, weeks after 50 migrants were flown to nearby Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to highlight border issues.
Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican like DeSantis, announced that 164 members of the state’s National Guard would be deployed to Texas for a year, where they will assist Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in securing the border.
Their deployment comes three weeks after two planes carrying migrants from Venezuela landed unannounced on the upmarket island of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
The flights had been arranged by DeSantis, who wants to highlight problems at the southern border by bringing migrants to liberal areas in states farther north.
All of the migrants had crossed the US border in Texas and are seeking asylum.
Announcing the latest deployment, Sununu said: “New Hampshire is grateful for the heroic men and women of our National Guard.
“They answered the call to serve during the COVID pandemic, and are now answering our nation’s call — deploying to the ongoing humanitarian crisis along our southern border,” he added.
Sununu is the first governor to publicly pledge National Guard members to the border since DeSantis’ flights and buses arranged by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a fellow Republican, to send migrants from the border to liberal-controlled sanctuary cities such as Chicago and New York were established this summer.
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The New Hampshire reserve soldiers are taken from two battalions and will work alongside units from other states over a 250-mile stretch of the border with Mexico.
The National Guard members will be tasked with stopping human trafficking and drug smuggling as well as illegal border crossers.
However, their duties will be detection and monitoring, logistics and transportation as military personnel do not partake in civilian law enforcement activities. When the National Guard teams encounter issues, they call in the CBP to arrest or detain people.
Cities in Texas have been completely overwhelmed by influxes of migrants, with 2 million encounters recorded by CBP in the last financial year, an all-time high.
Cites such as El Paso, Del Rio and Eagle Pass say they are being flooded with thousands of migrants each day and local authorities are hugely overwhelmed.
Defending his decision to send migrants to other states, DeSantis has previously said: “It’s our view that, one, the border should be secured, and we want to have [President] Biden reinstitute policies like ‘Remain in Mexico’ and make sure people aren’t overwhelming.
“But short of that, if you believe in open borders, [then] sanctuary jurisdictions should have to bear the brunt of the open borders.”