West Virginia Watch
More than 50 members of the West Virginia National Guard landed at the southern border in Texas this week at Gov. Jim Justice’s behest to support the southern state’s controversial border security program, Operation Lone Star.
The mission will cost West Virginians roughly $600,000, a National Guard spokesman told WV News in June. Justice, in a briefing that same week, said West Virginia taxpayers are going to “have to bear the cost” of the deployment.
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Immigrants account for less than 2% of West Virginia’s population, according to a West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy analysis of Census data. Despite having one of the lowest rates of undocumented immigrants in the nation, those who do live in West Virginia are 7.7 times more likely to be arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement than in the United States as a whole, the Center reported in 2019.
Immigration has helped the state reduce its consistent population decline, and companies in West Virginia often recruit highly educated immigrants for specialized work in the state, according to the Center on Budget and Policy.