Virginia National Guard set to be deployed to southern border this week
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - At Fort Barfoot near Blackstone, Governor Glenn Youngkin visited and prayed with the members of the Virginia National Guard who are set to be deployed to the southern border.
Due to security issues, media members were unable to attend that event. According to a spokesperson, the guard will be deployed in the next few days at a cost of $3.1 million.
“I was so impressed. These are men and women from across the commonwealth. They are committed to the commonwealth and the nation, and it’s humbling, always humbling because they make sacrifices and their families make sacrifices,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin, (R) Virginia.
In May, the Republican governor signed an executive order to send 100 Soldiers and Airmen with about 10 support personnel to Texas.
The guard is assembling Joint Task Force Cardinal to assist the Texas Military Department. The order says personnel will be equipped with weapons, ammunition, body armor, protective masks and other support devices.
Youngkin says he’s responding with this show of force because illegal drugs, like Fentanyl, are pouring into the state and taking the lives of thousands of Virginians.
“This is about securing our border and protecting Virginians, and I’m just tired of people trying to play politics with what is the right decision to make for Virginians in order to protect Virginians,” said Governor Youngkin.
State Democrats, like northern Virginia Delegate Mark Sickles, say the expedition south is political and pricey.
“This expedition to the Texas border isn’t really going to help. It’s going to spend our taxpayer dollars inappropriately, and maybe the legislature ought to take a closer look at where this money’s coming from,” said Del. Mark Sickles, (D) 43rd District.
Though Del. Sickles doesn’t discount the drug problem, he says 90% of Fentanyl comes through Arizona and California, not Texas.
“You have your workhorses and your showhorses. This is not going to result in any drug, opioid capture on the Texas border,” said Del. Sickles. “This is spending Virginia taxpayers’ dollars and taking people away from their jobs, their employers for this adventure in politics.”
The guard should be on the ground in Texas for 30 days, though the mission can be extended.
In 2018, then-governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, recalled the deployment of four soldiers and one helicopter from the Arizona border because of the controversial “zero tolerance” policy separating immigrant children from their families.
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