Pennsylvania Senate Republicans want state National Guard troops to assist Texas at the border with Mexico.

The Senate passed Resolution 251 this week in a party-line vote. It’s been sent to both Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).

“Pennsylvania has a compelling interest to help secure the southern border as fentanyl has killed tens of thousands of residents throughout this Commonwealth,” reads the text of the non-binding resolution. “School districts are increasingly burdened, available, affordable housing is constricted, and strained social benefits are diverted from legal citizens.”

The resolution cited statistics from the Federation for American Immigration Reform claiming illegal immigration cost state taxpayers “more than $1.6 billion” last year. That equals around $318 annually per Pennsylvania household.

“Pennsylvania families are being harmed by the influx of immigrants and illegal drugs resulting from lax federal border security measures,” said Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), the resolution’s chief sponsor. “States are working together to make up for the federal government’s failure on this important issue.”

Delaware Valley Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (R-Montgomery) co-sponsored the resolution. She said it is important for Pennsylvania to stand with Lone Star State.

“The crisis at the Texas border has now made every state a border state, impacting the lives of all American citizens,” Pennycuick told DVJournal. “In the absence of a federal solution, Pennsylvania’s Senate Resolution 251 aims to provide National Guard assistance for Texas’s mission to secure the border.”

Republican senators say Pennsylvania National Guardsmen have the necessary skills and equipment to help Texas safeguard the border.

Shapiro doesn’t plan to send troops to the border.

“Governor Shapiro has been clear that our country needs a secure border and Congress needs to pass comprehensive reform to fix our broken immigration system,” Shapiro spokesperson Manuel Bonder told DVJournal. “This issue requires leaders in both parties to step up and deliver real, comprehensive solutions — not more of the failed talking points and political grandstanding that have brought us decades without immigration reform.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Texas National Guard launched Operation Lone Star in 2021 at Abbott’s behest. It’s described as a multi-agency effort to protect the southern border and keep illegal immigrants and deadly drugs from getting into the U.S.

Abbott blamed the Biden administration for the surge in border crossings.

Since President Joe Biden took office, an estimated 8 million migrants have crossed the southern border. According to government statistics, the U.S. Border Patrol had 249,785 encounters in December 2023 alone — the highest monthly total on record.

More than 468 million doses of fentanyl were also seized. According to Abbott, that’s enough to kill the entire population of the country.

Texas has received help from 14 other states as part of Operation Lone Star. Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming have all sent troops to the border.

Texas has also sent thousands of migrants to various cities, including New York, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia, due to sanctuary city policies. Philadelphia officials said they provided shelter, food and water, and legal and social services.

It wouldn’t be the first time that Pennsylvania National Guard members went to the southern border. In 2007, Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell sent members of the 201st Red Horse Squadron as part of Operation Jump Start. Troops helped build fences and other infrastructure in states like Texas, California, Arizona, and New Mexico.