Arkansas governor: ‘Bad precedent’ to send privately funded guardsmen to border

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said Sunday that sending a state’s National Guard to the U.S-Mexico border using money from a private donor sets a “bad precedent.” 

Jun 30, 2021: Governor Noem, Tennessee billionaire explain $1 million donation to send S.D. National Guard to Mexico

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” anchor Dana Bash cited South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s (R) use of funding from Tennessee billionaire Willis Johnson to send an initial deployment of as many as 50 South Dakota National Guard troops to the southern border to respond to a record surge in migrants.

Other governors have paid for the deployment through taxpayer funding. 

“Would you use a political donation to send your troops to the border?” Bash asked Hutchinson. 

The GOP governor, who announced this week that he would send his state’s National Guard troops to the border, replied, “Not for this purpose,” adding that deploying the National Guard is a “state function.” 

“I would consider that a bad precedent to have that privately funded,” he said. 

While Hutchinson noted that governors may use “private foundation money” for things such as “supplemental pay for some state employees,” he added that the National Guard is paid for by “the usual state budget.” 

Johnson said he sent the money to South Dakota through his family’s foundation and told The New York Times this week that he wanted to aid in security efforts at the southern border to respond to “illegals coming in.” 

“South Dakota is a small state,” he told the news outlet. “They want to help America, I want to help them.”

Jun 29, 2021: Gov. Asa Hutchinson authorized 40 Arkansas National Guard members to deploy to the US southern border at the request of Texas.

Johnson, as well as a spokesperson for Noem, declined to comment on the total cost of deployment covered by the donation. 

Noem and Hutchinson have joined other GOP governors who have committed to sending National Guard troops and state law enforcement officials to assist Customs and Border Protection agents at the southern border. The state leaders argue that the Biden administration is not doing enough to respond to a recent surge in asylum-seekers crossing into the U.S., mostly from Central America. 

Jul 2, 2021: Pentagon Comments On Noem Letting Private Donor Fund SD National Guard Mission To Southern Border

Noem, a potential 2024 presidential contender, said in a statement Tuesday announcing her troop deployment, “The border is a national security crisis that requires the kind of sustained response only the National Guard can provide.” 

“We should not be making our own communities less safe by sending our police or Highway Patrol to fix a long-term problem President Biden’s Administration seems unable or unwilling to solve,” she added.

Published by amongthefray

News with a historical perspective. Fighting against misinformation, hate, and revisionist history.

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