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Ricketts salutes Nebraska National Guard troops, condemns US border policy

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After returning from a trip to the Mexican border with Texas where he saluted Nebraska National Guard troops who are deployed there, Gov. Pete Ricketts said Monday that "America urgently needs to change course at the national level to fix this ongoing emergency."

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National Guardsmen from Nebraska's 1-376th Aviation Battalion are helping provide detection and monitoring through aviation support to enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to conduct their law enforcement duties more efficiently, the governor said.

That mission supports U.S. Department of Homeland Security efforts to manage border security, Ricketts said.

"Your work has provided much-needed assistance (to) deal with the historic surge of illegal crossings" at the border, the governor told the National Guard troops when he visited them Friday.

"By strengthening border enforcement, you're helping to keep dangerous drugs like meth and fentanyl off of our streets.

"You're also helping give critical humanitarian aid to those who've been enticed to cross the border by our failed federal policies," he said.

Ricketts also thanked federal customs and border protection personnel who he said are undermanned and underresourced.

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

On Twitter @LJSdon

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