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Burgum to attend sendoff for ND National Guard members deploying to southern border, repeats call for Biden administration to address border crisis

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today repeated his call for the Biden administration to address the humanitarian and security crisis at the U.S. southern border as he prepares to help send off 125 members of the North Dakota National Guard’s 957th Engineer Company on Friday to a mission along the border.

The soldiers from the Bismarck-based multi-role bridge unit will support U.S. Customs and Border Protection in ongoing efforts to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. The mobilization of North Dakota National Guard soldiers was requested by the U.S. Army through the National Guard Bureau and is a continuation of the southern border military mission that began in 2018.

Burgum concurred with the deployment, which is expected to last about a year. The governor said he plans to visit the soldiers at the border during their deployment and stands in solidarity with fellow governors who will be gathering at the border Wednesday to raise awareness of the need to address the border crisis.

“It’s been over two weeks since I and 25 fellow governors sent a joint letter urging President Biden to meet with us to discuss solutions to the ongoing crisis at the southern border, and we still have not received an answer. Meanwhile, as the administration fails to address the southern border crisis, it continues to hold firm to its baffling decision to extend the ban on nonessential land-based travel from Canada into the United States, even though vaccinated Canadians can fly into the U.S. and vaccinated Americans have been allowed into Canada since Aug. 9,” Burgum said. “We’re grateful for the courageous men and women of the North Dakota National Guard for their readiness to protect our great state and nation when needed. We know they will serve with professionalism, compassion and integrity as they support efforts to end this humanitarian crisis and secure the southern border.”

The Sept. 20 letter sent by 26 governors to President Biden followed a letter sent by Burgum and 19 other governors in May urging the administration to take action to end the humanitarian crisis and secure the southern border. Burgum also has joined other border-state governors and premiers of Canadian provinces in calling on the administration to open the northern border to nonessential travel.