Governor Parson Signs HB 2016 into Law While Visiting Missouri National Guard Soldiers Deployed to Southern Border in Texas

MAY 8, 2024

 — Today, Governor Mike Parson visited the Southern Border near Eagle Pass, Texas, to connect with Missouri National Guard (MONG) soldiers deployed to the Southern Border and sign House Bill (HB) 2016 into law. HB 2016 passed the Missouri General Assembly with bipartisan support and includes funding for Missouri's Southern Border deployment, aiding Texas Governor Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star mission, which is helping secure Texas, Missouri, and the nation.

"We are proud to be here in Texas today to meet with our soldiers and sign HB 2016, funding Missouri's partnership with Operation Lone Star to secure the border," Governor Parson said. "President Biden and the federal government have failed. They're allowing fentanyl and other drugs, criminals, and even suspected terrorists to flood across the border into our country. States must take a stand, and that's exactly what Missouri is doing. The more crime we can stop at the Southern Border, the less we have to deal with in Missouri. We appreciate the strong group of bipartisan lawmakers for approving this funding and understanding the need for Missouri to step in when the federal government has failed our citizens."

"We understand there are many good people looking to come to our nation to achieve their American Dream. We respect and welcome that, but there is a process to go through, and it must be done legally," Governor Parson continued.

HB 2016 totals $2.2 million, allocating $2 million to support MONG members deployed to the Southern Border and $206,000 for the Missouri State Highway Patrol's efforts to help secure the border. Governor Parson was joined at the bill signing by MONG Adjutant General Levon Cumpton, MONG soldiers stationed at the border, and Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Victor Escalon, who provided those in attendance an update on Operation Lone Star.

To view HB 2016, click here.

Missouri's Southern Border Operations to Date:

On February 20, 2024, Governor Parson issued Executive Order 24-03 activating up to 200 MONG members and 22 MSHP troopers to support Operation Lone Star on the Sothern Border.

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

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.

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

MONG soldiers work 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.

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

  • Undocumented Migrant Surrenders - 1,195
  • Undocumented Migrant Detections & Turn Backs - 708

Photos from Missouri's Southern Border deployment can be found in the attached.