Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Montana Governor Greg Gianforte issued ‘a disaster declaration’ on Tuesday morning enabling the Montana National Guard to send 10 soldiers to the southern border to assist the Texas National Guard in stopping illegal immigration.

“We issued a disaster declaration so that we can mobilize Montana resources to help secure our southern border,” began Governor Gianforte. “I was down there and I saw it for myself at Shelby Park. There were 3,000 illegal immigrants crossing every single day. Governor (Greg) Abbott stepped forward with the Texas National Guard and built a physical barrier, and the (number of illegals) was reduced to literally three people per day, so clearly, we can secure the border.”

Governor Gianforte Issued a Disaster Declaration on Tuesday

Gianforte described Montana’s response to Texas.

“We’re sending Montana National Guard soldiers to the Texas border at the request of Governor Abbott,” he said. “These are volunteers. This activation follows a request we got from Texas under our mutual aid (agreement). These Montana National Guard soldier-volunteers will be helping with vehicle maintenance to help transport Texas National Guard members to the border, and to keep those vehicles running well.”

READ MORE: Montana’s Gianforte Joins 14 Other Governors at Texas Border

Gianforte praised the work done under what is called ‘Operation Lone Star’.

Gianforte Described the Effects of Illegal Immigration at the Texas Border

“Since Governor Abbott launched his ‘Operation Lone Star’, there have been 500,000 Illegal immigrant apprehensions, more than 41,000 criminal arrests, and they've seized over 471 million lethal doses of fentanyl. That's more than enough to kill everybody in the United States. We have to step up and secure the border, and I'm proud that we have Montana National Guard going down to help Governor Abbott at the southern border.”

Fentanyl Seizures Increased by 78 Percent according to the DEA

The Governor’s press release stated, “According to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Rocky Mountain Field Division, more than 3 million fentanyl pills were seized in 2023, a 78 percent year-over-year increase, in the region that includes Colorado, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming.”

Gianforte said the Montana National Guard personnel will serve in Texas for about a month.

View the Governor's Emergency Declaration here.

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