South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem sends 50 National Guard troops to US-Mexico border, funded by a ‘private donation’

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is sending 50 National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border in Texas.
  • All expenses will be paid for by a donation from Willis and Reba Johnson’s foundation, per her office.
  • DeSantis and Reynolds also announced plans to send law enforcement details to the border.
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Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced Tuesday night that she’s sending 50 of her state’s National Guard troops to Texas.

While sharing National Guard troops across state lines is not unusual for governors, it typically involves a crisis such as a natural disaster in a neighboring state.

-Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) June 28, 2021

Noem is one of several Republican governors answering a call from Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey for states to send resources to their Mexican borders under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds both announced they will send state law enforcement details to the Lone Star State, while Noem is the only one to send National Guard troops.

Another unusual aspect of Noem’s announcement is that the 30 to 60 day deployment will be “paid for by a private donation.”

Ian Fury, Noem’s spokesman and communications director, told Insider the donation is from Willis and Reba Johnson’s foundation “to help alleviate the cost to South Dakota taxpayers.”

-Ian Fury (@IanTFury) June 29, 2021

Officials sent from other states will be able to make arrests in Texas and Arizona.

Abbott and Doucey said drug smugglers and people leading groups of undocumented migrants need to be arrested “before they can cause problems in your state.”

So far, no Democratic governors have agreed to send any troops.