AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that Abbott is thanking Tennessee Governor Bill Lee after his recent announcement that the Tennessee Guard will deploy an additional 50 members to the Texas-Mexico border early next year.

According to a news release from Lee’s office, Lee authorized additional support to the border aimed at combating a “surging drug crisis.”

“An open border has far-reaching consequences that are fueling a drug crisis impacting both our national security and the safety of our state,” Lee said in the release. “I have authorized additional Tennessee Guard support at our Southern border as we look to address drug trafficking at the source.” 

According to the release from Abbott’s office, the guardsmen from Tennessee will aid officials with the Texas National Guard as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety in Operation Lone Star along the Texas-Mexico border.

“States across the nation are experiencing the harrowing effects of the federal government’s failure to address the drug trafficking crisis along our southern border,” Abbott said in the release. “Our country is stronger and safer when we tackle dire issues together, and I thank Governor Lee for these additional members of the Tennessee Guard who will join Texas in securing the border and protecting our communities.”