More Missouri National Guard troops headed to the Texas border

More Missouri National Guard troops headed to the Texas border

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson said he is committed to sending “additional resources” to Texas’ Operation Lone Star to secure the southern border, but specifics were not immediately available on Monday.

In a video Sunday, Parson said Missouri would “put boots on the ground” to help more than it already has.

Two Missouri National Guard companies have already been deployed to the southern border, Parson spokesperson Johnathan Shiflett said last week.

Parson on Sunday said that President Joe Biden “and what’s going on in Washington, D.C., is not going to be able to help secure the border at this point.”

“We know there is a way to secure the border,” Parson said. “If it takes the states to do that, that’s exactly what we’re gonna do.”

Greitens called it a “critical mission” even though the guard members were in a support role, providing only aerial surveillance.

Parson on Sunday traveled to the Texas border town of Eagle Pass, where he joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and 13 other Republican governors for a “security briefing” on the state’s Operation Lone Star and a news conference.

Flanked by the Republican governors, Abbott at the Sunday news conference said, “We are here to send a loud and clear message that we are banding together to fight to ensure … that states will be able to defend against any type of imminent danger.”

Abbott attributed the “imminent danger” to Biden’s “abject refusal” to enforce U.S. immigration laws.

Gov. Mike Parson met with Texas law enforcement officers on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, during a fact-finding visit to the border.

Parson’s commitment to send additional Missouri resources to the Texas border comes after illegal U.S.-Mexico border crossing arrests reached an all-time high in December and amid an ongoing battle between Texas and the federal government over immigration enforcement.

It also comes after the U.S. Senate on Sunday unveiled a bipartisan border deal that would tie tougher illegal immigration measures with more aid to Ukraine.

But, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, said on X that the plan would be “dead on arrival” if makes it to the other chamber. “This bill is even worse than we expected,” he said.

While immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border will likely be a central issue in what appears to be shaping up as a Trump vs. Biden presidential contest, some Missouri politicians seeking higher office this year have also capitalized on the attention the hot-button issue garners.