DES MOINES - Today Governor Kim Reynolds announced that Iowa State Patrol officers will be deployed to the U.S. Southern Border to aid law enforcement and border security efforts. The governor is responding to a request from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).  

‚ÄúMy first responsibility is to the health and safety of Iowans and¬†the¬†humanitarian¬†crisis at our nation‚Äôs southern border is affecting all 50 states,‚ÄĚ said Gov. Reynolds. ‚ÄúThe rise in¬†drugs, human trafficking, and¬†violent¬†crime¬†has become unsustainable.¬†Iowa has¬†no choice but to act, and it‚Äôs why¬†I am honoring¬†Texas‚Äô¬†Emergency Management Assistance Compact¬†following¬†assurances¬†from the Iowa Department of Public Safety¬†that it will not compromise¬†our¬†ability to provide¬†all necessary¬†public safety services to Iowans.‚Ä̬†

In May, there were roughly 180,000 border encounters, a 20 year high. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in March of 2021 there was a 233% increase in fentanyl seizures from the previous year. In May, that year over year increase climbed to 300%. In Iowa, law enforcement officials are recovering drugs, illegal narcotics, and weapons being smuggled across the nation’s southern border by drug cartels. 

According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, in the first quarter of 2021,¬†Iowa¬†saw the highest amounts of¬†methamphetamine¬†seized in¬†any one¬†quarter since 2018.¬†Compare that to¬†May¬†of¬†2020 when¬†both¬†the¬†purity and seizure¬†of methamphetamine dropped¬†significantly¬†when¬†the¬†border was¬†completely¬†closed during¬†the¬†COVID-19 pandemic.¬†As for¬†Fentanyl, Iowa saw 532¬†grams¬†seized¬†in¬†January ‚Äď May of 2020. Over that same time period in 2021, roughly 6,641 grams of¬†Fentanyl¬†was¬†seized, an increase of roughly 1,148%.¬†

The Iowa National Guard (ING) is also currently conducting a mission with 24 soldiers from the Unit 2/34 IBCT to assist law enforcement agencies at the southern border, per an October 2020 request from the federal government under Title 10 active duty mobilization orders.   

On June 10, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey formally requested law enforcement support from all 50 states. This request was made through Iowa’s existing EMAC, a national interstate mutual aid agreement that enables states to share resources during a disaster. More information about EMAC can be found here.  

The state of Iowa joins Florida, Nebraska, and Idaho, in sending law enforcement to the southern border to assist Texas and Arizona.