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  • Writer's pictureStaff @ LPR

LA National Guard Headed to Texas for Supplemental Border Patrol

Gov. Jeff Landry announced Thursday that he is sending Louisiana National Guard members to Texas to help with the flow of migrants across the border.

Landry made a trip to the southern border ahead of his decision to deploy the National Guard.

"This actually serves a purpose and helps Louisiana too because it serves and trains our national guard troops, of which I was one, for readiness and duty and active service, the things they all signed up for," Landry said.

Troops will deploy sometime in March and are set to come at a cost of about $3 million to taxpayers.

"We have to see whether or not the National Guard has that money in their budget now. We can also use some surplus dollars, because this will be a one-time expense. So we're kind of working through that now, a lot of it depends on when the bill is actually sent. Whenever the National Guard goes down there, you don't pay when you show up. A bill will be sent in the future, so we have to look at when we anticipate receiving that bill, how much money does the National Guard have cash on hand, and then work through the budget process whether in the special session or regular session to cover the cost," said state Sen. Cameron Henry, Senate president.

Louisiana Senate President Cameron Henry says the money to send troops could come either from the National Guard budget— to be refunded later—or from a supplemental appropriations bill that could come up during the legislative special session on crime scheduled to start Feb. 19.

Making the decision to send guardsmen means that Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry joined multiple GOP governors in standing with Texas Governor Greg Abbott in his fight with the Biden administration over border security.

“I think everyone on both sides of the aisle understands what this means to not just Louisiana and Texas. Obviously, we see issues in New York and San Francisco and Colorado, Chicago as well. We see those issues, we don’t want those issues here," said Henry, a Republican from Metairie, on why he and other members of his caucus support the move by the governor.

While many Republican legislators are convinced, Democrats want to know when guardsmen will be sent, how long they will be there and what they will be asked to do. One of those is New Orleans representative Alonzo Knox.

"As neighbors to Texas, a state that has consistently stood by Louisiana in our times of need, it is only fitting that we extend our support in this critical moment. However, it is imperative that we approach this deployment with a clear understanding of the details surrounding the operation," Knox said in a statement.

Retired Lt. General Russel Honore, who led National Guard troops after  Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, says it will be a hard mission to accomplish.

“They’ll go where the governor tells them to go because that’s what our troops will do, but that’s going to be a great sacrifice on these families. And them being only in state active duty, could put many of them in financial peril. Normally, when we deploy the National Guard for other than hurricanes, they get (multiple) month's notice," Honore said.

Honore added that Texas Governor Greg Abbot would be in charge of the Louisiana guardsmen while they're deployed in the Lone Star State. He added that they would not receive separation pay, which is something normally received by troops serving for more than 30 days while deployed at the request of the federal government.




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