Reynolds to send another group of Iowa officials to assist Texas at Mexican border

DES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds says she will send another group of state law enforcement agents and Iowa National Guard soldiers to the US-Mexico border, but she’s waiting to coordinate the timing with Texas officials.

“Twenty-five governors have said they’re going to stand with Governor Abbott and do what this president refuses to do,” Reynolds said Monday during a news conference at the Iowa Capitol.

Reynolds plans to use federal pandemic relief funds to pay for the mission.  Reynolds was among a dozen Republican governors who were in Texas Sunday in support of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s actions at the border. “The reality is we don’t know who is entering our country, but we know what they’re capable of…It’s why Governor Abbott has stepped up to defend his state, his people and ruly our nation,” Reynolds said. “For three years Texas has been on the front line of the most serious national security and humanitarian crisis of our time.”

In 2021, Reynolds sent a group of state troopers and investigators to assist Texas officials at the border for two weeks. Last year, the governor deployed 109 Iowa National Guard soldiers and 31 state law enforcement officials to Texas for a month.

Reynolds does not expect the bipartisan plan developed by U-S Senate negotiators to toughen immigration rules to pass. She said President Biden already has the authority to act. “We do not need a new law,” Reynolds said. “He needs to follow the existing law. He is not denying illegal entry into the country.”

Reynolds told reporters two Chinese nationals were arrested in rural Iowa last week in connection with what investigators describe as a $30 million nationwide fraud case. “One of the individuals charged is believed to have entered the country illegally through the southern border months before his arrest,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said 26 of the state’s drug investigations last year were linked to the Mexican drug cartels.