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Idaho will send 5 troopers to help Arizona secure border

UPDATED: Thu., July 1, 2021

By Keith Ridler Associated Press

BOISE – Five Idaho State Police troopers will go to Arizona for 21 days to help with border security, Gov. Brad Little said Thursday.

The Republican governor said the troopers will start a 21-day mission on Tuesday to help Arizona law enforcement officials with intelligence gathering and investigative work to prevent illicit drugs from crossing the border.

“The crisis at the United States-Mexico border and the alarming bump in illegal drug activity are direct results of failed policies of the Biden-Harris administration that harm the people of Idaho,” Little said in a statement.

Republican Govs. Doug Ducey of Arizona and Greg Abbott of Texas sent a letter to fellow governors last month asking for law-enforcement help.

“On behalf of Texas and Arizona, we respectfully but urgently request that you send all available law-enforcement resources to the border in defense of our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the two governors wrote.

Little, who faces reelection next year and is being challenged by far-right Republican Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, said it will cost Idaho just over $53,000 to send the troopers to Arizona. He said Idaho State Police leadership assured him that the troopers’ duties in Idaho will be covered while they’re in Arizona.

“We did our homework and worked closely with Arizona State Police to determine the true needs and how Idaho can help in a meaningful, impactful way without compromising public safety here at home,” Little said.

Immigration continues to be an animating issue in the Republican Party. On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump and a group of about two-dozen Republican members of Congress toured the border in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, where they railed against President Joe Biden’s handling of the border.

Four other states with Republican governors are also responding. Florida is sending 50 law enforcement officers. South Dakota is sending 50 national guardsman following a $1 million donation from a wealthy Republican donor to pay for the deployment. Iowa is sending 30 state police officers on a two-week deployment to Texas, and Nebraska is sending 25 state patrol troopers for up to 16 days.

“Idaho will continue to evaluate our resources and the border states’ needs to determine if we can do even more to help in the fight to protect Americans against the Biden-Harris inaction,” Little said.

In Arizona, the Idaho troopers will be deputized and will act under the same authority given to Arizona State Troopers.

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