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Attorney general says governor should send Indiana Guard to border

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Attorney General Todd Rokita said on Wednesday that Gov. Eric Holcomb should join his colleagues in sending reinforcements to Texas authorities along the southern border.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday sent a letter to America’s state governors asking them to send law enforcement and National Guard resources to the southern border to combat a wave of attempted crossings following the end of Title 42 pandemic-related restrictions.

On Tuesday night, Gov. Eric Holcomb and 23 other governors signed onto a Republican Governors Association statement in support of Abbott’s border security efforts. Those governors have previously agreed to provide support as part of the American Governors Border Strike Force.

Attorney General Todd Rokita has previously advocated for sending the Indiana National Guard to the border in an enforcement capacity. Asked Wednesday afternoon whether he believes Holcomb should do so in response to Abbott’s letter, Rokita replied with an emphatic “yes.”

“When you’re not enforcing the border and the federal government is not doing their job, the answer is not to not have the job done, the answer is to solve the problem,” he said.

Also on the day Abbott wrote to the nation’s governors, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a likely 2024 presidential candidate, announced he was committing more than 1,100 personnel to Texas. That number includes 800 Florida National Guard soldiers, 101 state troopers, and 200 officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, a statewide investigative agency.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little earlier this month announced a team of Idaho state troopers would assist Texas authorities with drug interdiction.

Holcomb’s office told News 8 he has not yet sent anyone in response to Abbott’s request. 22 Indiana National Guard soldiers have been stationed along the southern border since October as part of a year-long federal mission.

No assets from the Indiana State Police, Department of Natural Resources, or the Indiana Department of Homeland Security are currently detailed for border duty. Holcomb’s office did not indicate whether the governor plans to send any additional assets to the border in the near future.

Unlike attorneys general in some states, Rokita has no operational control over state law enforcement agencies. He says his office would continue to focus on the lawsuits it has filed against the Biden Administration over drugs traced to cross-border traffickers.