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Mass migration into US is spreading 'health hazards across our country,' Ricketts says at border
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Mass migration into US is spreading 'health hazards across our country,' Ricketts says at border

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Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts speaks at a news conference on Wednesday on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and GOP governors hold a press conference in Mission, Texas.

Gov. Pete Ricketts was among 10 Republican governors who joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott near the border with Mexico on Wednesday to call upon President Joe Biden to take action to secure the border and end what Ricketts described as "this humanitarian and security crisis." 

Mass migration into the United States is spreading "health hazards across our country," the governor said during a news conference in Mission, Texas, claiming that thousands of COVID-positive people have entered the country illegally.

The Biden administration needs to "properly resource the border" with U.S. Border Patrol personnel and National Guard troops, Ricketts said.

The president "thinks he can ignore" this crisis, the governor said. 

"We are here to shine a light," he said, and force action to "help us stem this mass migration crisis."

Fortenberry at Texas border says it's 'almost wide-open'

The Nebraska National Guard is scheduled to deploy units from Grand Island and Columbus this month to help provide assistance at the border.

The deployment could last up to a year, Maj. Scott Ingalsbe, spokesperson for the Guard, said previously.

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Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts surveys the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday.

A total of about 150 guardsmen from the 1-376th Aviation Battalion, based in Grand Island, and the 128th Engineer Battalion, based in Columbus, will deploy at the direction of the federal government, according to Ingalsbe. They're replacing units from other states that have been deployed there, he said.

The federal government will pay for the deployment, Ingalsbe said.

Texas Governor Border

Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw speaks as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and 10 other governors, including Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts hold a press conference at Anzalduas Park on Wednesday in Mission, Texas. 

Nebraska agreed to cover costs for sending troopers in Texas

The Nebraska State Patrol deployed 25 troopers to the Texas-Mexico border earlier this summer, in response to a joint request from Texas and Arizona. Public records obtained by the Omaha World-Herald revealed the state would be on the hook for the costs of the deployment, which Gov. Pete Ricketts and State Patrol officials estimated at $500,000.

Joining Abbott and Ricketts at the border on Wednesday were Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon.

150 Nebraska National Guard members to deploy to southwest US border in October

Meanwhile, in Washington, Republican Sen. Deb Fischer joined 37 of her Senate colleagues in sending a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding answers on the agency's response to a surge of Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas.

"While we applaud the administration's original stated intent to expel the majority of migrants (or) to expeditiously remove them, we are concerned that DHS did not actually carry out this plan (and) undermined the deterrent effect of any future statements that the Biden administration will enforce our immigration laws at the border," they wrote. 

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSdon

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