Noem’s border visit comes with political opportunities

July 26, 2021

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — There’s plenty of political reasons for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem to visit the National Guard troops she deployed to the U.S. border with Mexico.

She says she is making the flight to McAllen, Texas, to check in on the roughly 50 National Guard members who volunteered for a 30-day deployment.

The visit also gives the ambitious governor a chance to make hard-line immigration measures a driving force of the Republican party.

Noem eagerly joined the political fight with President Joe Biden over a surge in border crossings and has even used the deployment to criticize potential rivals for the 2024 Republican nomination.