Gov. Bill Lee has authorized the deployment of 100 Tennessee National Guard members to the U.S. Southern border.
The announcement on May 25 follows a joint statement from Lee and other Republican governors last week and a border security briefing in Austin on Monday, where Texas Gov. Greg Abbott invited states to support ‘Operation Lone Star’ to secure the U.S. Southern border following the end of Title 42.
Title 42 is a federal public health order that expired on May 11. The law made it easier for the Department of Homeland Security to turn away migrants.
“America continues to face an unprecedented border crisis that threatens our nation’s security and the safety of Tennesseans,” Lee said in a statement. “The federal government owes Americans a plan to secure our country, and in the meantime, states continue to answer this important call to service. I am again authorizing the Tennessee National Guard to help secure the Southern border, and I commend these troops for providing critical support.”
The Tennessee National Guard members will deploy at the end of May to provide support along the U.S. Southern border, in the following ways:
- Patrolling and providing additional security presence along the border
- Assisting road and route clearance, barrier placement and debris removal
- Staffing outpost operations
The Tennessee National Guard has supported border security efforts in the past. In December 2021, Lee authorized 50 additional troops to respond to the surge in illegal crossings and drug-related activity along the U.S. Southern border. Lee also visited more than 300 Tennesseans stationed at the border in July 2021.
“The men and women of the Tennessee National Guard are always ready to serve their country anywhere, anytime,” said Brigadier General Warner Ross, Tennessee’s adjutant general. “These troops are a capable contingent that will continue our long-standing tradition of responding to the call to aid our fellow Americans. The Tennessee National Guard is proud to serve and support our state partners in safeguarding the United States along the U.S. Southern border.”