Iowa Governor makes second trip to Mexican border

EAGLE PASS, TEXAS — Governor Kim Reynolds has traveled to southwest Texas for a border security tour led by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

“First of all I just want to say thank you to you and Texas and all that you’ve done to really protect the security of the United States,” Reynolds said during a Monday afternoon news conference hosted by Abbott.

Reynolds said the aerial tour showed her how challenging the terrain is around Eagle Pass, Texas. In July, Texas Governor Abbott ordered a floating barrier of large orange buoys be placed in the middle of the Rio Grande River, near Eagle Pass.

“Texas has been ground zero for over two years because of the Biden created catastrophe that we see at the southern border,” Reynolds said, “whether it’s national security, public safety or just an assault on our democracy.”

Reynolds deployed 109 Iowa National Guard soldiers to Texas this month to assist state authorities in operations at the border. Reynolds said drug-related deaths have increased by 35% in Iowa this year and, according to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the drugs are primarily coming from Mexico. “Earlier this year in 90 days — from March to May…the DPS actually seized 27,500 fentanyl tablets, 330 pounds of meth and 72 pounds of cocaine. I know that’s nothing compared to what you’re seeing here, but the bulk of those seizures can be tied directly to Mexico and the cartel and we’re a thousand miles away from Eagle Pass.”

This was the governor’s second trip to the southern border. Reynolds and the Republican governors of South Dakota, Nebraska and Oklahoma joined Abbott for the tour. Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen blasted the Biden Administration’s lawsuit seeking removal of the line of floating buoys in the Rio Grande. “I’m a pig farmer. It’s hogwash — pun intended hogwash,” Pillen said. “…I say:’What the heck — stay on your side of the river.’”

According to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, the Mexican cartels are setting up in her state and driving up crime. “So I’m all in,” Noem said. “I’ve had our National Guard down here for a long time. We’ve had our Lakota helicopters down here on a federal mission doing surveillance on the border and on September 1, we’re going to send more troops down here.”

The 109 National Guard soldiers from Iowa are due to return at the end of August. Governor Reynolds plans to send a group of State Patrol Troopers to Texas in September. Reynolds is using federal pandemic relief money to cover the costs of the deployments.