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Nebraska patrol officials defend mission to Mexican border

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KTIV) - On Thursday, the state of Nebraska welcomed home state troopers, who were deployed on a state-funded mission in Texas to help with the ongoing border crisis.

Twenty-five troopers were deployed to Del Rio, Texas last month, after Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a Disaster Declaration, in response to the border crisis.

The troopers' initial stay was only supposed to last 16 days. But in early July, Governor Ricketts extended it by two weeks.

The governor said the state sending troopers to help another state is something commonly done through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

State leaders say the deployment was done because of the influx of illegal immigrants.

"I can tell you personally in the 23 years I have been in law enforcement, I have not seen a humanitarian situation of the nature of which we were up against down in Texas," said Capt. Jason Scott, with the Nebraska State Patrol.

The agency has come under some criticism for agreeing to not seek repayment for the services it provided to Texas at Nebraska taxpayers’ expense. The last of the 25 troopers who were deployed are expected to return Friday.

In the past, the state has sent troopers to North Dakota to assist with the Dakota Access pipeline protest.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Blake Branch

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