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SC National Guard troops could be heading to Mexico border wall

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COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) --- National Guard troops from South Carolina could be heading to Texas to help fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

Last week, President Donald Trump called for thousands of troops along the wall. "President Trump is right, we must secure our border,” Governor Henry McMaster said. “If we don't have a secure border we don't have a country."

Right now, the state has more than 10,000 National Guard troops that could help with that mission. Lieutenant Colonel Cindi King with the National Guard said those troops could help with aviation or engineering. "In the past, they requested our LUH-72 Lacota helicopters,” King said. “That can assist them with area surveillance, it gives them a better view of what's taking place along the border."

Some states like Arizona and New Mexico have already started sending troops to help.

Critics have accused Governor McMaster of pitching in to score political points with the President. However, he said it's just one state helping another. "We always have to lean forward, we always have to see what can we do to help,” King said. “We are coming into hurricane season, and we know from the floods, and what we've been impacted by our state, it's not just South Carolina its the region, its other state reaching out to help."

The mission would be paid for with federal dollars. Right now, both Governor McMaster and Major General Robert Livingston are in contact with officials in Texas. "A lot of this will involve rotation in and out,” McMaster said. “Because the other things that may come up, hurricanes, flood we don't know, but this is a full court press, we must have all of our assets ready and available to see that this country is kept safe."

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