South Dakota governor visits the Valley
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Monday there are a total of 48 guardsmen from her state deployed at the border wall during her visit to the Rio Grande Valley.
Noem used Monday’s visit as an opportunity to check on them, while also saying that the state of Texas is overwhelmed.
“The drugs that come into South Dakota come over this border,” Noem said. “The human trafficking that we see on our streets, comes over this border."
The state of South Dakota was one of the two states to see a decrease in overdose-related deaths. Noem’s hope is that enhanced security at the border will keep it that way.
"I don't want it to explode again,” Noem said. “And that's why I think it's important to be proactive on making sure we're addressing where those drugs are coming from, and they're coming across this border."
But that deployment is without a clear end in sight. Noem said Monday’s appearance wasn't a photo-op, but a necessity.
"I make decisions that impact peoples' lives every day,” Noem said. “And I don't ever want to put them in a situation that I'm not confident they can step up, serve and complete and come home safely."
Noem has also indicated that they hope to one day be reimbursed for their effort, even though their deployment was paid for in part by a $1 million donation from the GOP, a move that something that Noem has been criticized for.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS asked if this appearance was related to running for higher office in the future, but Noem said that wasn't the case.