Thursday, July 18, 2024

Louisiana National Guard engineers will deploy to Texas through mid-November, governor says

by BIZ Magazine

BY: GREG LAROSE – Louisiana Illuminator

Engineers with the Louisiana National Guard will deploy in Texas to assist with border security through mid-November, Gov. Jeff Landry announced Monday. Their assignment extends Louisiana’s commitment of 150 personnel from its state militia for Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas to enforce immigration law, which is the federal government’s responsibility.

Landry said the additional time Guard members will spend in Texas will not create an additional cost to taxpayers. State lawmakers approved $3 million for Operation Lone Star earlier this year, and there is $800,000 from that allocation, according to the governor’s office.

“As the Biden Administration repeatedly ignores the crisis on our southern border, the Louisiana National Guard continues to step up and assist our neighbors in Texas as they work to protect our citizens and secure our country’s border,” Landry said in a statement from his office. “I am grateful to the Louisiana National Guard for their hard work defending and securing our nation’s border.”

Landry is one of several Republican governors who have sent National Guard troops to Texas in support of Abbott’s policy on immigration. In addition to busing migrants to Democratic-led cities, the Texas governor placed razor wire along the banks of the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass to hunder unauthorized border crossings.

Under Abbott’s direction, the Texas National Guard has blocked U.S. Border Patrol agents from accessing the riverbank to take the razor wire down.

During their original 90-day deployment that ended early last month, Louisiana National Guard members provided support to the Texas counterparts’ border operations. Their duties were similar to those undertaken during hurricanes, including administrative tasks, driving vehicles and manning checkpoints.

In a letter to legislative leaders, Landry said Abbott and the Texas National Guard leadership requested additional engineering support from Louisiana. The governor said he has worked with Brig. Gen. Thomas Friloux of the Louisiana National Guard and Jacques Thibodeaux of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness “to ensure that this will not impair our ability to mobilize troops here at home if necessary.”

Louisiana National Guard members are among the first emergency response personnel put to work ahead of a pending disaster and during the recovery stages. The Atlantic hurricane season started June 1 and lasts until the end of November.

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