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Government/Politics

Ohio Governor travels to see troops he sent to Texas-Mexico border

DeWine and First Lady at southern border.jpg
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Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine at a fence at the US-Mexico border in Texas. DeWine said he was there to "receive a briefing from the Texas Department of Public Safety on the humanitarian crisis at the border and the work to prevent fentanyl drug trafficking from Mexico to the United States."

Gov. Mike DeWine said the border is a thoroughfare for the deadly opiate fentanyl, blamed in most of Ohio's deadly opioid-related overdoses.

Gov. Mike DeWine spent Tuesday at the southern border in Texas, meeting with Ohio National Guard members who were deployed nearly a year ago.

He will join a group of nine Republican governors touring the border with Mexico with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Wednesday.

113 Ohio National Guard members are offering non-law enforcement support to US Customs and Border Protection.

In a Facebook Live video, DeWine pointed to a fence along the Rio Grande River and said a huge percentage of the fentanyl involved in Ohio’s overdose deaths came from China and then over the US border with Mexico.

“We were told by the men and women of the National Guard who been down here that someone can scale that fence, if they know what they're doing and what they say. About 8 seconds, I think 8 seconds, something like that," DeWine said.

DeWine took the trip with First Lady Fran DeWine and Major General John Harris, the commander of the Ohio National Guard. The Facebook Live event suggests that at least one other person was traveling with them.

At least one of the governors meeting with Abbott had her travel paid in part by the Republican Governors Association.

A spokesman for DeWine said the RGA was not funding the trip cost - which hasn't been calculated yet. The state is paying for travel and lodging for DeWine and two staffers on the trip but not for Mrs. DeWine.

26 Republican governors have written to President Biden asking for a meeting about the border. Republicans across the country have seized on immigration as a key issue going into the 2022 elections. DeWine, who has said he'll run for re-election but hasn't officially launched his campaign, is facing a primary in May.