Arkansas sending 80 National Guardsmen to border, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders says

FILE — National Guardsmen run to their firing stations while competing on the firing range during the 50th Winston P. Wilson & 30th Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Rifle and Pistol Championships on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced today that the Arkansas National Guard will send 80 guardsmen to the southern border on July 1 to provide surveillance and reconnaissance support to the Texas National Guard.

The soldiers will support border control efforts along the U.S. border with Mexico through the entire month of July, according to the governor’s office.

“President Biden’s failure at our southern border puts the entire country at risk,” Sanders said in a news release. “States must now step up where the President has failed to repel illegals, fight the cartels, and stop human and drug trafficking.”

The Arkansas guardsmen will provide increased detection and help bolster tracking capabilities in addition to adding surveillance and reconnaissance support, according to the release.

Sanders has been critical of the federal government’s immigration and border control policies.

In her Republican address to the nation following President Biden’s State of the Union address in February, Sanders said the Biden administration inherited “the most secure border in history” and took it in the reverse direction.

“Despite Democrats’ trillions in reckless spending and mountains of debt,” she said in her nationally televised speech, “we now have the worst border crisis in American history.”

Sanders also said during her speech that the country’s fentanyl epidemic has grown worse now that the drug is “pouring across our Southern border.”

The Arkansas National Guard has deployed troops to the border previously. From June 2006 to July 2008, Guardsmen were deployed in support of Operation Jump Start, providing more than 750 soldiers and airmen in support of the U.S. Border Patrol, according to the governor’s office.

“The Arkansas National Guard is uniquely qualified to assist with border control operations,” said Maj. Gen. Jonathan Stubbs, adjutant general for the Arkansas National Guard. “Our Soldiers and Airmen have been providing these same capabilities to combatant commanders and local law enforcement agencies for years.”