The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Reynolds talks southern border during Eagle Pass visit Monday

Iowa deployed 109 Iowa National Guard troops to the border in August in support of Operation Lone Star; the 109 troops will remain on the border until Sept. 1.
Cody Blissett
Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks with Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley during the 2023 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023.

Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds joined four other Republican governors in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Monday afternoon to call for the Biden Administration to act on the “assault on our democracy.”

Reynolds’ visit to the popular border crossing in southwestern Texas comes after Reynolds announced she would be deploying 109 Iowa National Guard Troops and 330 Iowa State Patrol officers to the Southern border on Aug. 2.

Reynolds joined Operation Lone Star along with 14 other Republican governors in May when she originally announced that 100 Iowa National Guard Members and 30 Iowa State Patrol officers would be sent to help for 30 days in August. Iowa’s troops will support Operation Lone Star until Sept. 1.

Her May announcement came after the Biden Administration announced they would end Title 42, a COVID-19-era policy that allowed the federal government to turn away asylum seekers.

Reynolds put the blame on the Biden administration for not acting regarding the border crisis sooner, during the press conference in Texas on Monday. She said Biden’s inaction at the border has led to the increase in drugs and overdose deaths in Iowa and other Midwest states.

“Whether it’s national security, public safety, or just an assault on our democracy, [Texas has] to be front and center through all of that,” she said. “Iowa is located at the intersection of two major interstates, and it is a pathway for the Mexican cartel and for human traffickers to form from Mexico to the Midwest.”

Reynolds listed increases in drug-related seizures in Iowa since 2020, including:

  • A 500 percent increase in the amount of fentanyl
  • A 100 percent increase in meth
  • A 35 percent increase in drug-related deaths
  • 27,500 fentanyl tablets, 330 pounds of meth, and 72 pounds of cocaine

“The bulk of those seizures can be tied directly to Mexico and the cartel and we’re 1000 miles away from Eagle Pass,” Reynolds said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has recently received scrutiny after he was sued by the U.S. Justice Department because he refused to remove the floating barrier of Buoy’s and razor-sharp barbed-wire in the Rio Grande, the river that separates the U.S. from Mexico.

Texas recently moved the barriers to the Texas side of the river, after the U.S. Justice Department showed a federal court evidence that the buoys were encroaching on Mexican territory.

“The fact that the states are protecting the southern border is an assault on the Constitution and the American people,” Reynolds said. “It is time for this president to step up, way past time, and do his job.”

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About the Contributors
Grace Katzer
Grace Katzer, Politics Reporter
Grace Katzer is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications, Political Science, and a writing certificate. Previous to her position as a politics reporter, she has been a higher education news reporter at The Daily Iowan and interned with the Spencer Daily Reporter as a news reporter and Iowa Starting Line as a news media reporter.
Cody Blissett
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.