Gov. Henry McMaster said Tuesday he is offering South Carolina’s National Guard troops to Texas and Arizona to help with security along the Mexican border in those states.
“I called Governor (Greg) Abbott yesterday, the governor of Texas, after speaking with (SC Adjutant) General (Robert) Livingston… to offer the use of our National Guard troops as needed in Texas,” McMaster told reporters. “We’re going to do the same thing with (Arizona) Governor Ducey.”
McMaster said border security is an issue of national security.
“We have to keep the country safe,” he said. “President Trump is right about building the wall. Until that wall gets built we need to patrol the border. We need to have border security.”
Last week, President Donald Trump announced a plan to have National Guard troops assist with patrolling the country’s southern border.
“What it boils down to is President Trump is right,” the governor said. “We must secure that border. If we don’t have a border, we don’t have a country and one way that the states can help is with their National Guard.”
McMaster said South Carolina has 9,300 active National Guard soldiers and 1,300 Air National Guard members who consistently win national competitions for readiness. The governor said if deployed, the mission will be federally-funded. Decisions as to the specific mission will be made in Texas.
“I believe there’ll probably be other states involved as well, because, after all, this is a national problem. It is a situation that must be addressed,” he said.