(The Center Square) – Four governors expressed their continued commitment to secure the southwest border and support of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at a meeting Monday in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Joining Abbott were governors Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Jim Pillen of Nebraska, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, and Kristi Noem of South Dakota. They’ve all sent their National Guard troops to Texas to participate in Abbott’s border security mission, Operation Lone Star. In total, troops from 15 states are currently serving in Texas participating in OLS, bbott said.

When all states expressing support for Texas are included, they total 25.

“Half the states in America are banding together to secure a border that President [Joe] Biden has abandoned. … From the northern border to the southern border, governors are coming together to push back against the Biden administration.”

When asked by The Center Square if Abbott knew if this was the first time in Texas history that 25 governors had come together to help secure the border, he replied, “This is the first time I’m aware of. It shows the unity we have in this country among governors. …

“Every state in the United States is a border state. Look at what’s going on in New York. Look at what’s going on in Illinois. They may be Democrat governors and Democrat mayors but they’re fed up as much as Republicans are with the Biden administration and the way that Biden is destroying our states, our cities and our country. Americans will not tolerate it anymore.”

Reynolds said that Iowa “is located at the intersection of two major interstates, and it is a pathway for Mexican cartels and human traffickers to go from Mexico to the Midwest.” Iowa also has seen a 500% increase in the amount of fentanyl being seized, a 100% increase in meth, and drug related deaths have increased by 35%, she said, “and we’re 1,000 miles away from Eagle Pass.”

Pillen said he was “in disbelief” about the misrepresentation by the media and others of the buoys placed in the Rio Grande River to deter illegal border crossings.

“The buoys act as a deterrent,” Pillen said. He also said he couldn’t believe the misrepresentation about those illegally entering the U.S.

“We are fighting the cartels,” he said. “They are trying to kill our kids. That’s one thing we can surely agree on in the United States is our kids? Right?”

“What we’re literally witnessing is a war zone, and it is astonishing to watch it perpetuated by our president,” Noem said. She first sent National Guard troops, she said, because she recognized what was happening “was a war. They are threatening our sovereignty right now. The cartels are out for blood, and they are facilitating the trafficking of our children every day. That’s what I find so shocking is the lack of humanity in these policies. These policies are inhumane of what they’re doing to people and to families.”

The Biden administration has said it’s border policies are more humane than former President Donald Trump’s. The administration also has said the border is secure.

The governors in Eagle Pass Monday disagreed.

Stitt said, “The chaotic scenes at the southern border are a stark reminder of the consequences of disastrous open border policies.” What’s going on “has nothing to do with immigration,” he added. “You don’t have a brain if you don’t think we don’t need to secure our border. The terrorists coming through, the criminals; it’s got to stop.”

All of the governors, except for newly elected Pillen, had sent troops and assistance to support Abbott’s efforts. They did so after he sent an SOS in May requesting help from fellow governors.

The states who’ve so far sent National Guard troops and law enforcement support include Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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