HARRISBURG, PA – State lawmakers from Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District today joined together to support their Congressman in his effort to make Pennsylvania’s National Guard available to address the crisis on the southern border. Congressman John Joyce (PA-13) last week led a group of four other Pennsylvania Congressmen in a letter to Governor Wolf making the request. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-11), Rep. Scott Perry (PA-10), and Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-16) joined Joyce on the letter.
According to his office, Wolf has no plans to send Pennsylvania’s National Guard troops to the southern border. Wolf’s office also dismissed the crisis at the southern border as “hyperbole,” despite the fact that other leaders, such as former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Nancy Pelosi have asserted the opposite. Additionally, the Washington Post recently reported that the number of Democrats who believe there is a crisis on the southern border has risen by 17 percent since January.
The lawmakers issued the following statements advocating for Pennsylvania’s National Guard to be sent to the southern border and urging that Governor Wolf reconsider his position:
Senator Judy Ward said, “There is no question there is a crisis at the southern border, and it is reassuring to know that Congressman Joyce and his colleagues from our commonwealth are doing everything they can to address it. We all need to work together to bolster our manpower at the border to prevent undocumented immigrants from coming into our country and I fully support aiding our Border Patrol agents with Pennsylvania’s National Guard troops.”
Senator Wayne Langerholc said, “Turning a blind eye on something as serious as the crisis on the southern border should not be an option. The people of my district want to know that their leaders are doing everything possible to secure the border and I fully back Congressman Joyce in his efforts to provide our Border Patrol agents with the assistance they need.”
Senator Pat Stefano said, “It has been very apparent that the National Guard has been an asset in the critical mission to secure our border. In every major crisis our nation has faced Pennsylvanians have been at the forefront of meeting that crisis head on. Unfortunately, the Governor’s position results in Pennsylvania abandoning that proud history. While the Governor continues to play national politics with a critical mission like this, drugs continue pour into our country through the southern border. Too many of those drugs will end up harming our friends and neighbors. That’s why I commend Congressman Joyce and his efforts to change the Governor’s wrong headed stance.”
Representative Greg Rothman said, “It’s disappointing that Governor Wolf would dismiss the crisis at the southern border as hyperbole when the facts prove quite the opposite. Congressman Joyce and the others who requested that our National Guard assist in the effort to secure our border should be commended for their leadership. Our Border Patrol agents are clearly in need of more support and Pennsylvania should rise to the occasion to help the brave men and women who are working tirelessly to keep our country safe.”
Representative Jim Gregory said, “Governor Wolf has issued multiple disaster declarations in response to the opioid crisis, but his recent comments make clear he has no desire to cut off the source of the harmful drugs that are plaguing our communities. The result of a Border Patrol that is stretched too thin is that more and more drug smugglers are able to gain access to our country unimpeded. If we are serious about reducing drug deaths in Pennsylvania we should make the sacrifice to help with the national border security effort.”
Representative Rob Kauffman said, “Pennsylvanians time and time again have always done what they can to help our country succeed and this situation should be no different. Congressman Joyce was right to request we send National Guard troops to the southern border to help keep our constituents safe and secure. The initiative has my full support and I ask the Governor to consider it.”
Representative Jesse Topper said, “The congressmen who wrote to Governor Wolf to ask him to help the Trump administration secure the border were absolutely correct. In a time of crisis everyone must aid the cause in whatever way they can, and Pennsylvania can be helpful to our border security efforts by offering National Guard support to President Trump. I support this initiative and thank Congressman Joyce and the rest of his colleagues in the Pennsylvania delegation for putting forward this idea.”
Representative Carl Metzgar said, “I share Congressman Joyce’s frustration with the gridlock in Washington to achieve border security. The Congressman’s idea for Pennsylvania to do what it can to help address the crisis at the southern border is a sensible alternative, while Nancy Pelosi continues to drag her feet on common sense solutions. The safety of our nation, including Pennsylvania is at stake, so our Governor should offer National Guard Troops to secure the border.”
Representative Dan Moul said, “Congressman Joyce and others in our Pennsylvania congressional delegation could not be more correct. We have sent our National Guard troops to assist with disaster management all across the country, and what’s occurring at our southern border is nothing short of a disaster. Our Border Patrol agents need all the assistance they can get and anyone who stands in the way of that end, including Governor Wolf, is not serious about the safety and security of this country.”
Representative Paul Schemel said, “We must protect the integrity of our national boarders in order to ensure safe and orderly immigration. US officials given the task of patrolling our boarder are struggling to keep up with the massive influx of individuals seeking to enter our country by unlawful means. Pennsylvania has a long history of coming to the aid of our nation, and we should not shirk that responsibility now.”
Representative Torren Ecker said, “Our country is facing a crisis at the southern border and Pennsylvania should be leading the way in addressing it, not hoping someone else fixes the problem. Congressman Joyce’s request to deploy National Guard troops to help secure the border is a sensible proposal and I hope the Governor comes around to supporting it.”
Representative Lou Schmitt said, “The crisis at the border is real and Congressman Joyce deserves credit for trying to address it. Our National Guard does great work and there’s no doubt they could rise to the occasion and help our Border Patrol agents do their duties. If the experts at Homeland Security believe that the National Guard is a helpful tool in our border security efforts then Governor Wolf should be willing to offer some of Pennsylvania’s troops to the cause.”
CONTACT: Cheryl Schriner (717) 787-5490