Governor Reynolds has announced that 109 soldiers from the Iowa National Guard will deploy today to Texas in support of Operation Lone Star to help secure the U.S. Southern Border following the end of Title 42.
The deployment will last until Sept. 1, 2023, with the mission of deterring illegal border crossings and preventing the trafficking of illegal substances by cartels through Texas. This is the Guard’s third deployment to the U.S. southern border since 2020, but the first pursuant to a state mission.
Following the deployment of Iowa National Guard soldiers, the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) will deploy Iowa State Patrol officers on August 31, 2023, to support Texas State Troopers with criminal interdiction, crime prevention, traffic enforcement, and law enforcement assistance. An investigative team will also support Texas investigations of narcotics, weapons, and human trafficking. The Iowa DPS deployment will end on October 2, 2023.
All costs will be covered by federal funding allocated to Iowa from the American Rescue Plan. States are given flexibility in how this funding can be used provided it supports the provision of government services.
Gov. Kim Reynolds released the following statement regarding the state’s support of Operation Lone Star:
“On his first day in office, President Biden reversed commonsense policies that protected the U.S. Southern border and American citizens. Since that time, our country has experienced a historic rise in illegal immigrants and illicit drugs entering our country. Two years later, every state is a border state, and Iowa’s unique location at the intersection of two major interstates makes it a target for human traffickers and drug cartels.
“The Biden Administration has failed to respond to the crisis at the border and, in doing so, has failed the American people – Iowans included. They have created one of the most significant national security and humanitarian crises of our generation and are blatantly ignoring the impact it’s having on our states, cities, and our people.
“Since the administration refuses to invest in securing the border and protecting its citizens, Texas has asked other states to help, and Iowa is ready and willing to assist.
“Iowa is deploying National Guard troops and personnel from the Department of Public Safety to protect the citizens and interests of our state by supporting Operation Lone Star and helping secure the U.S. Southern border.”