Governors from 20 states have signed a letter to both the President and Vice President, pleading with the administration to take the current immigration crisis seriously and reminding the President that individual states “have neither the resources nor the obligation” to solve a federal immigration crisis, much less “foot the bill for the consequences of this Administration’s misguided actions” on immigration.
The Governors' letter starts with a quick rebuttal of an unsettlingly common lie echoing from the Administration, “We call on you to take action on the crisis at the southern border immediately. Contrary to statements from your Administration, the border is neither closed nor secure.”
The letter then adds the much needed numerical context behind the “crisis” label; they remind the President that “In fact, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reports a staggering surge in recent crossings: 172,000 encounters in March, the highest number in nearly 20 years, as well as 18,890 unaccompanied children, the largest monthly number in history.”
The Governors then go on to outline the reason they decided to write to the President;
The crisis is too big to ignore and is now spilling over the border states into all of our states. Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services called upon many of our states to identify potential housing locations for migrants. In addition, the Department circumvented our states altogether by asking private organizations and nonprofits to house unaccompanied migrant children. Often these facilities lack adequate security.
Allowing the federal government to place a potentially unlimited number of unaccompanied migrant children into our states’ facilities for an unspecified length of time with almost zero transparency is unacceptable and unsustainable. We have neither the resources nor the obligation to solve the federal government’s problem and foot the bill for the consequences of this Administration’s misguided actions.
“The cause of the border crisis is entirely due to reckless federal policy reversals executed within your first 100 days in office,” the Governors explain to the President, noting his “irresponsible rhetoric” for inviting and incentivizing continued illegal immigration, as well as his refusal to enforce existing immigration laws:
This Administration has enticed a rush of migrants to our border and incentivized an influx of illegal crossings by using irresponsible rhetoric and reversing a slew of policies—from halting border wall construction to eliminating asylum agreements to refusing to enforce immigration laws.
The rhetoric of the Biden Administration and the rollback of critical agreements with our allies have led to the inhumane treatment of tens of thousands of children and undermined a fragile immigration system. While the most direct victims of the policy changes will be the children exploited and trafficked by gangs and cartels, the disastrous impact of your policies on America’s recovery will be far-reaching.
The Governors go on to note that “Even officials of our neighbor, Mexico, reportedly conveyed concerns that the shift in U.S. policy is stoking illegal immigration and creating business for organized crime. They then quote the Mexican President, “As Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated, ‘They see [Biden] as the migrant president, and so many feel they’re going to reach the United States.’”
The letter concludes with a plea from the Governors;
At a time when our country is trying to recover from a once-in-a-generation pandemic, the last thing we need is a self-created crisis that exploits families, undermines public safety, and threatens our national security. We urge you to take action to end the humanitarian crisis and secure our southern border immediately.
The letter is signed by:
Governors Bill Lee of Tennessee, Kay Ivey of Alabama, Doug Ducey of Arizona, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Brad Little of Idaho, Eric Holcomb of Indiana, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Tate Reeves of Mississippi, Mike Parson of Missouri, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, Doug Burgum of North Dakota, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Greg Abbott of Texas, Spencer Cox of Utah, and Mark Gordon of Wyoming
For the complete letter, please click here.