South Carolina’s governor offers troops for border to Texas

April 9, 2018 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s governor is offering to send National Guard troops to Texas help fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking along the Mexican border.

Gov Henry McMaster said no specifics about how many troops would be sent or how long they would stay were discussed on his call Monday afternoon to fellow Republican and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

President Donald Trump called last week for thousands of National Guard troops to be sent to the border in a deployment that some Democratic governors resisted and called political.


McMaster was one of Trump’s earliest supporters in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, but said there was nothing political about the deployment. Instead, the governor told The Associated Press it was no different than other states sending troops to South Carolina to help after a hurricane.

“This is the kind of things states do,” McMaster said.

McMaster plans to make a similar offer to Arizona’s Republican governor in the next few days.

The exact details of South Carolina’s deployment will depend on what Texas needs, South Carolina Adjutant General Robert Livingston said.

Abbott said he is planning to send at least 1,000 troops to the border and they could be there for months or years, meaning the South Carolina troops could help rotate other National Guard members out, Livingston said.

Troops from South Carolina have helped out on the border before, offering night surveillance by plane and helping a decade ago to build part of the existing wall on the border, Livingston said.

“It’s just states helping states,” Livingston said. “That’s what makes our country so strong.”