DeWine, first lady visit Texas border

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and first lady Fran DeWine visit the border wall in Texas.
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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and first lady Fran DeWine visit the border wall in Texas.

Governor says 80% of Ohio overdose deaths caused by fentanyl coming over U.S.-Mexico border.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and first lady Fran DeWine on Tuesday visited Ohio National Guard members deployed along the southern border in Texas.

The DeWines stood in front of the Rio Grande River for a Facebook live video detailing the purpose of their trip, which also will include a Wednesday briefing, along with governors from other states, from the Texas Department of Public Safety on the issues of fentanyl trafficking and the humanitarian crisis at the border.

Ohio National Guard members have been assisting U.S. Customs and Border Protection for nearly a year, and more troops will be deployed soon while others return home.

“They’ve been making a real difference here, and we appreciate their dedication,” the governor said.

Gov. DeWine said around 80% of the overdose deaths in Ohio are caused by fentanyl that is coming from China to Mexico and over the border into the U.S.

“We are committed to doing all we can to stop the flow of this deadly drug into our state,” he said.

Maj. Gen. John Harris Jr., who heads the Ohio National Guard, also met with the DeWines and appeared in the video at the border.

The Ohio soldiers are not involved in law enforcement at the border, he said. Instead, they perform a range of duties from vehicle maintenance to administrative tasks so CBP can focus on its law enforcement mission, Harris said.

“We’re in this for the long haul as part of this multi-state Ohio and other state national guard task force to augment customs and so that they can focus on keeping the bad stuff where it belongs: out of our country,” he said.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine meets with Maj. Gen. John Harris Jr., who heads the Ohio National Guard, at the border in Texas.
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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine meets with Maj. Gen. John Harris Jr., who heads the Ohio National Guard, at the border in Texas.