Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen deploys state troopers to Texas days after meeting with Abbott

By: - May 24, 2023 4:37 pm

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott addressed a group of Republican governors this week in Texas, including Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen, at front left. (Courtesy of the Office of Gov. Greg Abbott)

LINCOLN — Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen announced Wednesday he has deployed 10 state troopers to the Texas border as his “promise to back Texas” and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

This comes two weeks after the ending of Title 42, a border policy implemented by former President Donald Trump that blocked migrants from claiming asylum during a public health emergency, including COVID-19.

Pillen joined multiple Republican governors in meeting with Abbott on Monday about how Nebraska and other states could get involved with Texas, Pillen’s office said in a statement. 

“Our nation has a serious and unchecked threat on its hands following President Biden’s decision to end Title 42,” Pillen said. “Nebraska is committed to using every tool in its toolbox to help stop the influx of illegal immigration at our southern border. Illegal immigration hurts our nation’s security, undermines the rule of law, and threatens the wellbeing of our state.”

Title 42 ended because the public emergency for COVID-19 expired, which has allowed migrants to again seek asylum in the United States.

Pillen said the deployed troopers are all experienced drone operators who volunteered to participate. They will leave sometime before 3 p.m. Thursday and remain in Texas for two weeks.

“Our team of drone operators will provide valuable assistance to our law enforcement partners in Texas as they work to keep communities safe at the border,” Col. John Bolduc, superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol, said in a statement. “Our team is eager to join troopers from several other states answering Texas’ call for assistance.” 

The U.S. House of Representatives voted just before Title 42 ended to extend the policy, but that bill has little chance of passing in the U.S. Senate. 

Nebraska Reps. Don Bacon, Mike Flood and Adrian Smith supported that measure.

On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of six U.S. House lawmakers unveiled details of legislation to create a legal pathway for citizenship for undocumented people through work requirements while also funding border security measures.

Texas officials requested assistance via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, allowing member states — such as Nebraska — to provide resources and assistance in times of emergency.

Pillen said Idaho and Florida have also announced similar personnel deployments.

Pillen last week said that “every state is a border state,” and while Nebraska will not be reimbursed for the deployment, costs should be absorbed within the existing NSP budget.


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Zach Wendling
Zach Wendling

Zach Wendling is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, double-majoring in journalism and political science. He has interned for The Hill and The News Station in Washington, D.C., and has reported for the Nebraska News Service and The Daily Nebraskan.