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Notes: Alexandria Mayor criticizes Gov. Youngkin’s National Guard deployment to US-Mexico border

Good Thursday morning, Alexandria!

Today’s weather: Sunny. High near 84.
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Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced plans yesterday to deploy the Virginia National Guard to the southern U.S. border “due to continued instability along the U.S. border with Mexico, including the increase in supply of illegal drugs and human trafficking.”

The deployment is in response to a request from Texas through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

“On May 16, 2023, Texas requested states provide military support to assist in managing such conditions,” the release from Youngkin’s office said. “Per Gov. Abbott’s request, Virginia will be deploying 100 troops. Fentanyl and illicit drugs flowing over our border are devastating Virginia families and communities, an average of five Virginians die per day from fentanyl.”

The Washington Post reported last year that most of the fentanyl seized over the last year was seized at the U.S.-Mexico border — though the article also notes that where most drugs are seized is not necessarily a reflection of where most of the drugs are coming from.

According to Youngkin:

The ongoing border crisis facing our nation has turned every state into a border state. As leadership solutions at the federal level fall short, states are answering the call to secure our southern border, reduce the flow of fentanyl, combat human trafficking and address the humanitarian crisis. Following a briefing from Governor Abbott last week, Virginia is joining other states to deliver on his request for additional assistance. Given the intensive resource demands on Texas, the dangers posed by the fentanyl crisis, and impact of the border crisis on criminal activity to the Commonwealth, Virginia will do its part to assist the State of Texas’ efforts with the coordinated deployment of Virginia National Guard soldiers to assist in key aspects of their mission.

Alexandria has faced tragedy multiple times this year due to opioids, but Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said the deployment of the National Guard is a misplaced priority.

“The Commonwealth has not adopted a budget, months after the deadline, leaving huge unmet needs in mental health, education and beyond,” Wilson said. “Yet, [Youngkin] is deciding to spend millions to call up the Virginia National Guard, and send them to Texas.”

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