WASHINGTON – Sen. Joni Enrst (R-Iowa) on Wednesday evening said she agrees with President Donald Trump’s decision to send military personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I support the President’s decision to send National Guard troops to the United States’ southern border, just as former presidents have done,” Ernst said in a statement. “The National Guard represents some of the best men and women we have, equipped and trained to tackle these challenges and assist the U.S. Border Patrol.”
Ernst, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, went on to say: “The reality is, the border remains unsecured – meaning that drugs and crime continue to flow into the United States while illegal immigration and human trafficking flourish. We must act.”
On Wednesday evening, Trump signed a directive that ordered national guard units to assist border patrol agents. Trump announced decision on Tuesday saying military personnel are necessary until Congress agrees to fully fund the construction of a border wall.
Details of the plan have yet to be released but Homeland Security Secretary Krijsten Nielsen suggested to reporters Wednesday that the deployment would be similar to border patrol operations that took place under the administrations of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Those deployments involved about 1,200 troops.
The top Democrat on the House Committee on Homeland Security slammed the administration’s decision.
“President Trump’s statements about deploying our military to the U.S.-Mexico border and downplaying the strength of our laws do little more than stoke anti-immigrant hate,” Rep. Bernie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a statement. “I strongly question whether the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense weighed in on this proposed use of our military or whether, more likely, they were caught completely off guard.”