Governor Parson Highlights Success of Missouri's Southern Border Deployment

June 14, 2024

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO – As Executive Order 24-03 expires, Governor Mike Parson highlighted the successful conclusion of Missouri's months-long Southern Border Deployment in support of Texas Governor Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star mission to secure the Texas-Mexico Border. On February 20, 2024, Governor Parson issued Executive Order 24-03 activating up to 200 Missouri National Guard (MONG) members and 22 Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) troopers to support Texas' border security operations.

"We express our sincere appreciation to our MONG and MSHP members who answered the call to help secure the Southern Border and stop illegal drugs and immigrants pouring into our nation," Governor Parson said. "The mission has been a resounding success, significantly reducing daily illegal-immigrant encounters near Eagle Pass and seizing millions of lethal doses of fentanyl. Missouri personnel undoubtedly helped better secure the border and make our communities safer. For now, we welcome our men and women in uniform home and congratulate them on a job well done."

"We also greatly appreciate Governor Abbott for leading this charge. Every state is a border state, but thanks to Governor Abbott leading where President Biden and the federal government have failed, the rest of the nation can rest a little easier knowing their Republican Governors are fighting to help keep them safe. Should Governor Abbott and the State of Texas call on Missouri again, we are prepared to answer," Governor Parson continued.

"I thank Governor Parson for standing with Texas and sending personnel to join our historic border security mission, Operation Lone Star. When Texas was standing alone to hold the line at the border, he delivered," Texas Governor Greg Abbott said. "Missouri National Guard soldiers and law enforcement officers stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to secure the border; stop the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and people into our country; and prevent, detect, and interdict transnational criminal activity between ports of entry. As Missouri National Guard soldiers and law enforcement officers return home to the Show-Me State, know that their efforts made our communities, and our country safer."

To date, with the help of Missouri and other states across the country, the multi-agency Operation Lone Star effort has apprehended over 513,100 illegal immigrants and arrested more than 43,700 criminals, with more than 38,400 felony charges. In the fight against the fentanyl crisis, law enforcement has seized over 488 million lethal doses of fentanyl—enough to kill every man, woman, and child in the United States and Mexico combined—during the border mission.

MONG soldiers were stationed near Eagles Pass, Texas, and were directly involved in reducing daily illegal-immigrant encounters from more than 4,000 to less than 300. MONG soldiers also assisted in the capture of five individuals on the terrorist watch list.

Recapping Missouri's Southern Border Operations:

Missouri National Guard:

Since March 15, approximately 50 soldiers from the 138th Infantry Regiment, 110th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade have been serving side by side with soldiers from the Texas Army National Guard. Now, MONG soldiers have begun their out-processing in preparation to return to their traditional status in Missouri.

MONG soldiers maintained 24-hour security surveillance operations, with each soldier working shifts alongside Texas Guardsmen. This allowed for soldier safety and operational efficiency. Routine calls for service included detecting undocumented migrants coming across the border, helping turn back undocumented migrants to Mexico, and assisting with surrenders. Soldiers routinely intercepted undocumented migrants on foot and in vehicles and observed them until U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers responded to take custody and process.

MONG soldiers worked daily with their Texas National Guard counterparts and Border Patrol to expand their presence and deter migrant activity within their sixty square miles area of operations on the Rio Grande River, near Eagle Pass, Texas.

In addition to their surveillance operation duties, Missouri soldiers assisting Texas Army National Guard members in the area of the U.S. border provided assistance with the following encounters:

Undocumented Migrant Surrenders - 2,400

Undocumented Migrant Detections & Turn Backs - 1,000

Missouri State Highway Patrol Border Deployment:

On March 1, 2024, 11 MSHP troopers traveled to southern Texas to assist the Texas DPS in providing law enforcement services in the area of the U.S. border. The team briefed at the Texas DPS South Region Office (3) in Weslaco, Texas, on March 3 and reported to its first assigned shift on March 4. This team continued to serve in the border area until March 30, 2024.

On March 30, 2024, a second contingent of 11 Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) troopers traveled to southern Texas to assist Texas DPS in providing law enforcement services in the area of the U.S. border. The team briefed at the Texas DPS South Region Office (3) in Weslaco, Texas, on April 1 and reported to its first assigned shifts on April 2.

From March 3 through April 15, MSHP troopers assisting Texas DPS troopers in the area of the U.S. border provided assistance with the following incidents/encounters:

Traffic Stops – 1,432

Undocumented Migrants – 519

Undocumented Migrant Turn-Backs – 61

Impaired Driver and Drug Arrests – 69

Other Law Enforcement Assists – 105