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Nebraska Army Guard Return

Gov. Pete Ricketts greets Nebraska Army National Guard soldiers as they get off a bus to a welcoming ceremony in Lincoln in 2017. 

Gov. Pete Ricketts said Friday that Nebraskans support President Donald Trump's efforts to secure the U.S. border and the state "stand(s) ready to send additional troops to aid this mission if called upon."

A contingent of Nebraska National Guard troops has been deployed to support border security since August, the governor said.

"Right now, about 50 of our great troops are helping support our country's mission of securing the border," Ricketts said.

"Nebraskans want strong borders and support the rule of law," he said in a written statement released Friday morning.

"In light of the caravan moving toward our border, it is now more important than ever to reaffirm our country's commitment to these principles.

"We will not tolerate illegal immigration," he said. 

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The governor's strong statement was issued as the president geared up his pre-election rhetoric targeted at a caravan of Central American migrants that has been making its way through Mexico on a journey to the U.S. border, where the migrants apparently will seek refugee status.

In a get-out-the-vote appeal emailed by the Ricketts campaign a couple of hours later, the governor said "this migrant 'caravan' headed toward the United States — with the intention of crashing our borders — must be stopped."

"Help us continue to enact smart reforms and tough immigration measures at the state level," Ricketts wrote, "and stand 100 percent with President Trump for The Wall and real border security!"

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

On Twitter @LJSDon.

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