PA Senate Passes Legislation Urging Gov. Shapiro to Deploy PA National Guard to Defend U.S. Southern Border

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Senate today passed legislation to strengthen national security by calling on Gov. Josh Shapiro to offer the services of the PA National Guard to deploy to Texas in support of “Operation Lone Star,” according to Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41).

“This crisis knows no borders, it knows no bounds,” said Pittman. “In response to suggestions that this is not a Pennsylvania problem, I have two words: Laken Riley.

“President Joe Biden during his State of the Union address was candid in his acknowledgement that she was murdered by an illegal immigrant. I was impressed with that moment of candor, only to realize that in 12 hours, the President walked his statement back because so many in his own party were offended by it.”

Senate Resolution 251 takes an important step forward in the ongoing efforts of Pennsylvania Senate Republicans to help keep our communities safe.

The negative impacts of illegal immigration and the border crisis are evident in communities throughout the United States. Weak border security and lax immigration policies create an easy avenue for cartels to force more innocent people, including children, into human trafficking. According to The Heritage Foundation, about 72% of human trafficking victims are immigrants.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has also seen an 800% increase in fentanyl seizures since 2019 and according to the Centers for Disease Control, on average more than 150 people in the U.S. die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

It is estimated that more than 7.3 million migrants have illegally crossed the southwest border under President Biden’s watch – a total greater than the populations of 36 U.S. states.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott initiated Operation Lone Star in March 2021 in response to America’s illegal immigration crisis along the Texas-Mexico border.

Last year, Gov. Abbott sent letters to governors requesting support for Operation Lone Star. So far, 14 states – Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming – have responded and deployed personnel and resources to secure the border. To date, Gov. Shapiro has failed to deploy Pennsylvania National Guard assets to Texas.

Operation Lone Star has led to more than 500,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions, more than 40,000 criminal arrests and the seizure of more than 468 million lethal doses of fentanyl, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

According to a 2023 report, at least 251,000 illegal immigrants reside in Pennsylvania with an annual burden of more than $1.6 billion on taxpayers. That equates to a cost of approximately $318 per Pennsylvania household annually, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

The cost of illegal immigration is more than the combined allocation in this year’s state budget for the departments of Agriculture, Community and Economic Development, Conservation and Natural Resources, Drug and Alcohol Programs, Environmental Protection, Health, Military and Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Labor and Industry, and State, and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

“This is about the sense of the Senate and what we believe is a priority for Pennsylvania. To protect not only our citizens, but citizens across this nation. We are in fact a United States of America, which means we as states must come together and work to protect all of our citizens, regardless of the state in which they live,” Pittman stated.

Contact:         Kate Eckhart Flessner              


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