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26 GOP governors demand Biden meeting over border crisis

President Joe Biden. (Oliver Contreras/Pool/Abaca Press/TNS)
September 23, 2021

Dozens of GOP governors are demanding to meet with President Joe Biden over the “worst border crisis in more than two decades,” which they allege was created by the Biden administration. The group, led by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, said the surge at the border over the last year has created both a “national security crisis” and an “international humanitarian crisis.”

In a letter released Monday, 26 governors said they are “seeking an open and constructive dialogue regarding border enforcement on behalf of U.S. citizens in our states and all those hoping to become U.S. citizens. We must end the current crisis and return to border operations that respect the laws of our land and the lives of all people, including those in our states looking to the federal government to enforce and protect our nation’s borders.”

The letter asserts that the illegal immigrant crisis “that began at our southern border now extends beyond to every state.” Among those who signed onto the letter are Flordia Gov. Ron DeSantis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

“The negative impacts of an unenforced border policy on the American people can no longer be ignored. Border apprehensions are up almost 500% compared to last year, totaling more than 1.3 million—more people than the populations of nine U.S. states,” the letter states. “Approximately 9,700 illegal apprehensions have prior criminal convictions. Cartels and traffickers are making $14 million a day moving people illegally across the border. More fentanyl has been seized this fiscal year than the last three years combined—almost 10,500 pounds of fentanyl when only 2 milligrams prove fatal. This is enough to kill seven times the U.S. population.”

The governors note that states committed “unprecedented resources” to support the security of the southern border “despite the lack of federal action.”

“We have heard directly from our constituents about the damage this crisis has caused in our states, and it is our duty as elected officials to act swiftly to protect our communities, as it is yours,” they wrote.  

“While governors are doing what we can, our Constitution requires that the President must faithfully execute the immigration laws passed by Congress. Not only has the federal government created a crisis, it has left our states to deal with challenges that only the federal government has a duty to solve,” the letter continued. “Our immigration system may be complicated and complex, but the solution to ending the border crisis is simple and straightforward. As President, you have the ability to take action to protect America, restore security, and end the crisis now.”

The group demanded a meeting within 15 days of the letter, writing that “ending the national crisis and securing our states must be a priority.”