What we know about the Iowa state trooper mission at the US-Mexico border


DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa State Patrol troopers have arrived in Texas for a border assistance mission after Gov. Kim Reynolds approved sending them there on June 24.

The governor said on Monday that 29 state troopers are joining 30 members of the Iowa National Guard already on duty in the Del Rio area at the U.S.-Mexico border. They will be there for 16 days.

Iowa joins South Dakota, Ohio, Nebraska, Florida and Idaho in sending law enforcement to the southern border. It comes after the Texas and Arizona governors declared a state of emergency at the border and requested assistance from other states.

Because of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), states are able assist each other in times of disaster or emergency.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said funding for the mission will come from its budget, at no cost to Texas. Debbie McClung, the department’s communications chief, said Reynolds did not seek reimbursement from Texas or Arizona.

“Normally through an EMAC, responding states seek reimbursement from the requesting state. Expenses for this mission will not be calculated until it has fully concluded. Governor Kim Reynolds is not seeking donations for this deployment, and presently we don’t anticipate using federal funds,” Debbie McClung said in an email to WHO 13.

She said it is unclear how much the mission will cost, and it will not be certain until the end of the 16-day mission.

In a June 24 press release, Reynolds said she agreed to send assistance because Iowa law enforcement agencies have encountered drugs and weapons smuggled across the border by cartels.

“My first responsibility is to the health and safety of Iowans, and the humanitarian crisis at our nation’s southern border is affecting all 50 states. The rise in drugs, human trafficking and violent crime has become unsustainable. Iowa has no choice but to act,” Reynolds said in a press release.

As for some details on what the state troopers will be doing at the border, the Iowa Department of Public Safety told WHO 13 News in an email:

“The Troopers will be performing general law enforcement duties consistent with their training and experience. However, the size of the deployed team and the short 16-day duration of the deployment will be similar in scope to our commitment to other special assignments, such as RAGBRAI and the Iowa State Fair.”

Iowa Department of Public Safety

Reynolds said Monday that about 30 Iowa National Guard soldiers have already been at the border for quite some time completing a federal mission, which is being funded by the federal government.

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