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 announces plan to send more Iowa National Guardsmen to U.S.-Mexico border

Iowa will send a third round of Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexico border to tame a record number of border crossings.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Caucus Night Watch Party at the Sheraton in West Des Moines on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024. Republican voters assembled statewide to participate in the caucuses despite the cold and extreme winter weather across the state. Former President Donald Trump won the caucuses in a dominant and early fashion with 51 percent support from Republicans while DeSantis trailed in second with 21 percent as of 11:15 p.m. Around 250 people showed up to listen to DeSantis. (Ayrton Breckenridge/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced another plan Monday to send another round of Iowa National Guard members to the southwest U.S.-Mexico border to assist in taming a record number of border crossings.

Spending approximately $2.1 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, Reynolds previously deployed Iowa National Guardsmen and Iowa state troopers to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist Texas officials in August and September.

Reynolds visited Texas over the weekend to meet with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and spoke at a press conference in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Sunday.

During remarks at a news conference Monday, Reynolds blamed the Biden administration for allowing more than seven million people to cross the border illegally. Reynolds said President Joe Biden has the authority to prevent illegal crossings by enforcing laws that are “already on the books.”

“I think he should do his job,” Reynolds said. “And if he won’t, the states are going to step up.”

A PolitiFact analysis found that U.S. immigration authorities have recorded about 7.2 million instances of migrants at and between ports of entry during Biden’s time in office. However, this number tracks events, not people, and the same person can be recorded multiple times. The data does not show how many people have entered illegally and remained in the U.S.

Reynolds cited 2023 statistics from the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Narcotics and Narcotics Enforcement, which seized roughly 83,000 fentanyl tablets, more than 1,000 pounds of meth, 800 pounds of marijuana, and 165 pounds of cocaine. She said 26 of the narcotics cases have a direct link to a Mexican cartel.

“Every state is a border state, and Iowa is no exception. The effects that Texas has been experiencing for three years are now a reality here at home,” Reynolds said at a press conference Monday.

RELATED: Iowa lawmakers advance bill requiring proof of U.S. citizenship to receive in-state tuition

Reynolds said Iowa has committed to sending Iowa National Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexico border, but that exact details have yet to be ironed out. Iowa will coordinate with Texas further to develop a timeline and expectations for the mission. Expenses will be covered by federal ARPA funds that the state has yet to spend.

On Jan. 25, Reynolds issued a joint statement with 24 Republican state governors supporting Abbott, and Texas’ constitutional right to self-defense. Abbott entered a legal battle with the U.S. Justice Department in July, which sued the governor for installing a floating barrier on the Rio Grande.

Federal lawmakers are considering nationwide immigration reforms to address the record number of crossings, but Reynolds declined to call for specific legislation during the news conference.

“Both parties are guilty and not coming to the table, sitting down, and having an adult conversation about what we do moving forward,” Reynolds said. “I don’t have a lot of confidence in — no disrespect to the people that serve out in Washington, D.C., I’m grateful for them — but listen, in this environment, I don’t have a lot of confidence in really too much getting done.”

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About the Contributors
Roxy Ekberg, News Reporter
Roxy Ekberg is a first year at the University of Iowa. In the Honors Program, she is double majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in Spanish. Prior to her role as a politics reporter, she worked news reporter at the Daily Iowan and worked at her local newspaper The Wakefield Republican.
Ayrton Breckenridge, Managing Visuals Editor
Ayrton Breckenridge is the Managing Visuals Editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and cinema. This is his fourth year working for the DI.