SC Troops prepare for deployment to US-Mexico Border: ‘We need all the help we can get’

In the first six months of FY2023, U.S. Border Patrol encountered 1.1 million migrants.
SC Troops prepare for ‘unprecedented’ crisis at US-Mexico Border
SC Troops prepare for ‘unprecedented’ crisis at US-Mexico Border(Terrell County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 5:14 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina National Guard (SCNG) is preparing its troops for an emergency management mission to the Southwestern Border of Texas following a historic surge in illegal migrant apprehensions.

On Wednesday, Governor Henry McMaster announced his decision to deploy SCNG troops following a border security briefing and request for assistance from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Abbott’s request for manpower from nine different Republican governors came after President Joe Biden allowed the lapse of Title 42, a Trump-era policy that limited access to asylum seekers and made it easier to expel migrants during the pandemic.

In a congressional research report last month, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (USBP) — a federal agency under U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) — reported 2.2 million apprehensions across the southwestern border in fiscal year 2022.

According to USBP, this is the largest number of interactions with people who entered the country illegally in United States history.

“I served under five different presidents: President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, President Trump, and the first year of President Biden. The first four presidents provided some form of border security… now, it’s the worst shape it’s ever been in,” said Thaddeus Cleveland, Sheriff of Terrell County, Texas.

Cleveland was formerly the Patrol Agent in Charge (PAIC) of Sanderson Station, a CPB station with an area of responsibility (AOR) encompassing 91 border miles. Terrell County falls in Sander Station’s AOR where apprehensions increased 450% in 2022.

In FY2023 which started last October, CPB’s Sanderson Station has already apprehended approximately 3,500 migrants.

Within the same period, Cleveland says his sheriff’s office has assisted CBP in roughly 700 migrant apprehensions and the Department of Public Safety (PDS) in 170 illegal trafficking events.

“But with that said, our got-a-way’s increase, as well. People that cross that weren’t detected. We don’t know how many got away,” continued Cleveland as he was transporting an illegal migrant wanted for involuntary manslaughter.

In the first six months of FY2023, USBP encountered 1.1 million migrants across the southwestern border.

“That request [for SCNG troops] was approved by Gov. McMaster. He has given me direction to prepare a unit to deploy in support of that request, and that’s what we’re doing at this time,” said Major General (MG) Van McCarty, Adjutant General for South Carolina and head of the South Carolina Military Department.

MG McCarty told WIS that the SCNG unit preparing for deployment will be company sized and consist of approximately 150 soldiers.

SCNG is to assist the Texas Military Department (TMD) in its ongoing efforts to stop the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and humans into the country. This, under Abbott’s Operation Lonestar mission which began in March of 2021.

“How [the TMD] utilizes the soldiers will be a part of the agreement we will have, but we’re still working on the details of that. Certainly, as missions go, this is one that is important… this is well within the scope of what the South Carolina National Guard is trained and prepared to do,” concluded McCarty.

McMaster says the mission remains in the planning phase with more details expected in the coming weeks. Deployment for SCNG troops is tentatively set for July 1.

At this time, approximately 50 soldiers from the SCNG are on a border deployment in Arizona.

Notice a spelling or grammar error in this article? Click or tap here to report it. Please include the article's headline.

Stay up to date with WIS News 10. Get the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and Stream us on Roku, YouTube, Amazon Fire, or Apple TV.