In a preposterously partisan made-for-Fox-TV maneuver, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Thursday that she’s sending 80 guardsmen to the Texas border to help prevent border crossings.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott put out a call for help earlier this month, and Republican governors from Virginia, Iowa, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina already beat Sanders with their RSVPs.
The recent expiration of Title 42, a pandemic-era rule that let border authorities deny entry more easily, has anti-immigration types bracing for a possible influx of people crossing northward into the United States. Initial data shows that in fact, the number of people attempting to cross illegally has dropped by half since the rules changed, possibly because they’d face steeper penalties now for trying.
But Abbott, Sanders and other conservative Republicans seem to be ignoring that part and have embraced the opportunity to criticize President Joe Biden and whip up some xenophobia with the base.
In a press release, Sanders gave this statement:
“President Biden’s failure at our southern border puts the entire country at risk. States must now step up where the President has failed to repel illegals, fight the cartels, and stop human and drug trafficking.”
Per the release, the Arkansas team will work with the Texas National Guard to combat illegal immigration, drug trafficking and human trafficking, a job for which they’re well prepared, according to Maj. Gen. Jonathan Stubbs, Adjutant General for the Arkansas National Guard. “Our Soldiers and Airmen have been providing these same capabilities to combatant commanders and local law enforcement agencies for years,” he said.
Word of the deployment went out to Arkansas press at 1:30 p.m., but Fox News seems to have gotten a heads up well before that. The New York-based rightwing media channel posted a full story about the Arkansas National Guard deployment by 1 p.m., packaged with a video entitled “Sarah Huckabee Sanders on hostile press, conservatives fighting back.”