Jul 29, 2021 - Politics

Iowa's trooper deployment to US-Mexico border cost $300K

A photo of Iowa troopers holding a baby during a river rescue earlier this month on the Texas-Mexico border.
Iowa troopers during a river rescue earlier this month on the Texas-Mexico border. Photo courtesy of the state of Iowa

Iowa's 12-day trooper deployment to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas this month cost the state an estimated $300K, Iowa Department of Public Safety commissioner Stephan Bayens said during a press conference Wednesday.

  • That includes roughly $150K in overtime costs, $100K for their traditional salaries and $50K in "hard costs," like lodging and food for the 28 state troopers, Bayens said.

Why it matters: The bill could get bigger.

  • Iowa will evaluate whether the state's law enforcement officers will be deployed again, Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a press release.

Driving the news: Reynolds held a press conference Wednesday with State Patrol leaders highlighting the troopers' Texas mission.

  • The federal government has abdicated its duties, she said, which has led to a 20-year high in border encounters and massive increases in illegal drug seizures.

State of play: Reynolds is one of at least eight Republican governors who have allocated armed personnel to the border this year in response to a request from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

  • She's also one of 20 governors, all Republicans, who in May signed a letter to President Biden, saying the border is not secure.

The bottom line: Reynolds may genuinely believe there’s a crisis but, as Politico pointed out, politics are also involved.

  • Midterm elections are in sight — and many of the GOP governors, including Reynolds, face reelection next year.
  • Immigration is considered to be a key issue as Republicans attempt to win back control of Congress.
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