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Kehoe to travel to southern border on Saturday, Parson to head down in May



Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe will travel to McAllen, Texas, on Saturday to meet with deployed Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers to get an updated on Operation Lone Star, a Thursday press release states.

Missouri began deploying troopers and National Guardsmen last month, to “help secure the southern border” with Mexico, according to previous reporting. Gov. Mike Parson had previously visited the border earlier this year, and he will also travel again on May 8.

Kehoe will visit the border with Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten and MSHP Col. Eric Olsen, the release states.

Parson has previously described the border as “complete and utter chaos” and cited fentanyl coming into Missouri during a February press conference and in Thursday’s press release.

"With millions of illegal immigrants and millions more lethal doses of fentanyl pouring into our nation across the Southern Border, Missouri is proud to stand with Texas as President Biden and the federal government fail to protect our communities," Parson said in the release. "We know Lt. Governor Kehoe shares our concerns and joins the vast majority of Missourians in demanding a secure Southern Border. We thank him for being a leader on this issue and for offering his assistance in going to Texas to assess current operations and learn how Missouri's MSHP resources can continue to help secure our Southern Border moving forward." 

Since Biden took office in January 2021, more than 6.3 million migrants have been detained crossing into the U.S. illegally between points of entry, according to statistics from the Department of Homeland Security.

The number of migrant encounters on the southern border was on the rise even before Biden took office, but hit a record high under his administration. The global pandemic and crises in countries such as Ukraine, Haiti and Venezuela have all contributed to the increase, according to Homeland Security. 

According to a March 25 email from governor’s office spokesman Johnathan Shiftlett, Missouri troopers are would not likely be officers making arrests, but they have the ability to do so in Texas, if necessary.

“Texas DPS personnel make any arrests they deem necessary, and MSHP troopers are there for their backup, safety, and assistance.  Missouri officers are commissioned as peace officers through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and have full arrest power but are operating in a support role while at the Southern Border,” Shifflett wrote. “Similarly, Missouri National Guard members are supporting border security efforts but are not the ones making arrests, if necessary.”

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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Ryan Shiner


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