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Louisiana troops expand their troops on the ground at the US border in Texas

Louisiana troops expand their troops on the ground at the US border in Texas

Louisiana troops expand their troops on the ground at the US border in Texas

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Louisiana National Guard troops will remain on the ground along the U.S. border in Texas until November, Republican Gov. Jeff Landry said.

Landry is extending the original three-month mission known as Operation Lone Star at the request of Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Landry first announced his intention to send troops from Louisiana to Texas in February at the request of Abbott, who has stepped up efforts to expand Texas’ authority in managing border security after accusing President Biden of failing to fulfill what is generally a federal responsibility.

Louisiana’s governor reiterated that theme this week.

“While the Biden administration repeatedly ignores the crisis at our southern border, the Louisiana National Guard continues to step up and assist our neighbors in Texas as they work to protect our citizens and secure our nation’s border,” Landry said in a statement. “I am grateful to the Louisiana National Guard for their hard work defending and securing our nation’s border.”

The Louisiana Legislature funded the initial mission with a $3 million appropriation, but the original mission cost $2.2 million, leaving $800,000 to extend the stay of Louisiana troops in Texas.

Louisiana Republican State Senate President Cameron Henry and Republican State House Speaker Phillip DeVillier announced their support for the extension in a joint statement.

“We strongly support the Louisiana National Guard’s continued assistance to the state of Texas through Operation Lone Star with the remaining $800,000 of the legislature’s initial $3 million appropriation,” they said in the statement. “We understand the importance of securing the southern border and will continue to work closely with Governor Landry on this important matter.”

Louisiana troops assisted the Texas National Guard with border patrols to “prevent, detect and deter” illegal crossings, but are not authorized to detain any migrants crossing the border illegally.

Landry, Republican Attorney General Liz Murrill and a group of Louisiana lawmakers have made trips to the border to observe Louisiana soldiers during their deployment.

“Our Soldiers are trained and ready to continue supporting Texas and the border operation,” said Louisiana National Guard Brigadier General Thomas Friloux. “Engineer Soldiers are tasked with conducting missions that support their assigned individual and collective training tasks.”

Further: Louisiana National Guard completes mission on U.S. southern border in Texas

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for Louisiana’s USA TODAY Network. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.