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Reynolds still considering whether to send troopers to border again

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DES MOINES — Gov. Kim Reynolds is considering the possibility of again deploying Iowa State Patrol officers and public safety personnel to aid law enforcement and border security efforts at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Gov. Kim Reynolds

Reynolds

On July 28, Iowa Department of Public Safety law enforcement officers — 12 road patrol troopers, 12 tactical operators, three command staff supervisors and one bilingual investigative agent — spent nearly two weeks working border security duties alongside authorities in Texas.

Iowa officials said the mission was aimed at disrupting criminal activity that included smuggling humans, drugs and firearms, as well as aiding humanitarian efforts in the Del Rio area of Texas near the border.

Reynolds said she made the decision in June to approve the action — which cost Iowa about $300,000 — in response to requests from fellow Republican Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. She defended the decision by telling reporters border security is a federal responsibility that has not been adequately addressed by the Democratic Biden administration.

She said she would re-evaluate whether to deploy another group of state troopers for border security after they had finished duties related to the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa in July and the Iowa State Fair in August.

“The governor is still evaluating at this time,” Alex Murphy, Reynolds’ communications director, said in a weekend email response to a Sept. 17 inquiry.

Earlier this month, Reynolds joined 25 other Republican governors in requesting a meeting with President Joe Biden to “bring an end” what they view as a national security crisis at the nation’s southern border. The group of state chief executives said the White House meeting is necessary to respond to a crises “created by eight months of unenforced borders.”

In signing the letter, Reynolds said her “first responsibility” is to the health and safety of Iowans, which she said is being affected by the border activities.

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