(AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem described the U.S. border with Mexico as a “war zone” last year when she sent dozens of state National Guard troops there.
Noem said they’d be on the front lines of stopping drug smugglers and human traffickers. But newly released records from the National Guard show that in their two-month deployment, the South Dakota troops didn’t seize any drugs and sometimes went days without encountering any migrants at all.
Noem justified the deployment and a widely criticized private donation to fund as a state emergency because of drugs making their way across the southern border to South Dakota. But the records cast doubt on whether the deployment was effective in addressing that.