By James Brooks
Alaska Beacon 

Alaska governor would like to send state Guard troops to Texas


February 14, 2024

Gov. Mike Dunleavy told reporters on Feb. 7 that he’d like to answer Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s request for National Guard soldiers to support a state-run effort along the Mexico border, but he’s not sure the Alaska Legislature will approve the cost.

“To send the Guard down will cost us about — according to Adjutant General Saxe — about a million dollars a month for 100 folks. We’ll test the waters with the Legislature to see if they’re willing to fund that, and I wouldn’t mind helping Texas with their issue on the border,” Dunleavy said.

The governor’s remarks followed the announcement that the federal National Guard bureau has asked the Alaska National Guard to prepare for the deployment of 20 soldiers and two helicopters to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials along the American border with Mexico.

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Since 2021, citing the perceived inadequacy of federal efforts, Texas has conducted Operation Lone Star, its own state-run effort to fortify the international border and prevent crossings between the usual American ports of entry.

Those efforts have at times conflicted with federal border-protection efforts, most notably with Texas’ recent decision to install razor wire along portions of the border. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that Texas cannot stop federal officials from removing that wire and cannot interfere with federal officials carrying out their duties.

Many Republican politicians have criticized the federal approach to the border, and former President Donald Trump said “willing states” should “deploy their guards to Texas.”

Dunleavy and Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor have issued statements in support of Texas’ position of fortifying and guarding its border, and this month Taylor and Adjutant General Torrence Saxe conducted a series of closed-door briefings with legislators about planned and possible National Guard deployments to the border.

If Alaska National Guard soldiers were to deploy at Texas’ request, it would be under Dunleavy’s authority and the state would pay the bill, the governor said.

Dunleavy also said on Feb. 7 that he wants to see more immigration, particularly to Alaska. “I think we need more people. I think we need more immigrants. And I’ve always said, build a strong wall with many doors, many ways to get into this country,” he said.

The Alaska Beacon is an independent, donor-funded news organization.


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