Governor Reynolds will send Iowa State Patrol Troopers to US-Mexico Border

Reynolds is responding to a request from Texas and Arizona governors to aid law enforcement and security efforts at the border.



Gov. Kim Reynolds prepares for the State of the State Address within the house chambers of the Iowa State Capitol Building on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Des Moines. Tuesday marks the second day of the 2021 Iowa legislative session, in which Gov. Reynolds will give her address in the evening.

Simone Garza, News Reporter

Gov. Kim Reynolds plans to send Iowa State Patrol Troopers to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist security efforts at the border, which has raised concerns for an Iowa City legislator, and an immigrant advocate at the Catholic Worker House.

“My general concern about this is we don’t have enough state troopers right now to patrol Iowa’s highways and interstates,” said Iowa Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City.

Bolkcom also expresses his concern of limited information being released from this decision.

“Governor Reynolds is not being transparent with Iowans about why and what’s going on down in the southern border and why Iowa State Patrol are being dispatched down there,” he said.

A total of 30 troopers will be sent to the border. There is no exact date present of when the troopers will be deployed. No compensation for reimbursement is set until the mission is completed. Names of the troopers who volunteered for this obligation will not be released.

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A statement from Reynold’s office, shared on June 24, said the troopers are being sent in response to a request from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. Florida, Nebraska, and Idaho are also sending law enforcement assistance; like Iowa, Texas and Arizona, these states have Republican governors.

Furthermore, expenses for this mission will not be calculated until it has fully concluded and discussions regarding payment structures are ongoing, Sarah A. Jennings, a member of the Iowa Department of Public Safety wrote in an email to The Daily Iowan.

Jennings also said that Iowa residents’ safety will not be affected because of the deployment.

“We are confident the public safety needs of Iowans will not be compromised by the temporary absence of these deployed Troopers,” she said.

A total of 24 Iowa National Guards will also be sent to the border to assist with the troopers. The assignment for the Iowa National Guards is to provide “operational, detection, monitoring, and aviation support to enable our federal partners” Maj. Katherine Headley stated in an email to the DI.

Reynolds said in a statement that heightened levels of drug smuggling, human trafficking and spread of COVID-19 motivated this choice. There will not be a medical unit sent to the border, as the IANG and State Troopers will work together on this mission.

Manny Galvez, a member of the Iowa City Catholic Worker House, said there are potential risks of sending Iowans to the border.

The Iowa City Catholic Worker House provides assistance to immigrants, refugees, and people experiencing homelessness. The Worker House offers a food pantry, shelter, rent assistance and deportation defense for undocumented laborers to stay in their residency.

RELATED: Gov. Kim Reynolds approves sending Iowa State Patrol troopers to US-Mexico border, to assist with rise in migrants

“Many people are going to think that immigrants are the reasons why we have these problems. She is labeling a whole community,” Galvez said. “She is putting a risk to [the] Latino community in Iowa and she is not aware.”

Galvez said there are other routes to help the children.

“We can send a different message — she could at least open the doors to some of them. If not, she could allow Iowans to receive these kids,” he said. “Iowa has a tradition to open the doors for open homes for refugees in the past.”

Galvez said the Iowa City Catholic Worker House encourages immigrants during this time to find a home in Iowa.

He said that it will take the whole nation to step up and help assist immigrants to live a better life.

“When we hear hate, we promote love,” said Galvez. “When we see these immigrant actions, we promote alternatives — more than ever we need to put this country together as a nation.”