Mission, Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott – along with nine other governors – demanded Wednesday that President Biden take action regarding the spiraling crisis at the U.S. Mexico border. Abbott warned that the administration’s failure to address the crisis it created is threatening the nation’s national security. He also revealed that the White House has yet to respond to a letter sent by 26 governors on September 20, requesting a meeting with the administration to seek solutions to curtail a tsunami of migrants expected to reach the U.S. border before the end of the year.
The governors stood side-by-side in a open field at Anzalduas Park, in Hidalgo County, Texas. The group spoke of how the crisis is effecting their states from the rise in drug addiction and deaths to the increase of human trafficking. Under a blazing Texas sun in an area near the Rio Grande River in Mission, Texas – known for significantly high illegal border traffic – the governors reiterated that the resolution to the crisis must be non-partisan. They also asked why neither Biden, nor Vice President Kamala Harris have done anything to resolve the situation but instead establish policies that make it worse.
The governors were flanked by dozens of National Guards personnel, who positioned their combat vehicles – Humvees and trucks – in a semi-circle around the lawmakers. Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and local law enforcement also stood by as each politician made their case for more enforcement and federal assistance.
Abbott, along with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, as well as governor’s Mark Gordon of Wyoming, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Brad Little of Idaho, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma spoke to the press.
“The Biden Administration’s open border policies have led to complete chaos at the southern border, and pose a threat to the safety of Texans and all Americans,” said Abbott. “Texas has stepped up to keep our communities safe and mitigate this crisis ourselves, and our efforts have been made stronger by the support and assistance of governors from across the nation.”
He also unveiled a 10- point plan to mitigate the crisis.
- Continue Title 42 public health restrictions
- Fully reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols
- Finish securing the border
- End catch and release
- Clear the judicial backlog
- Resume the deportation of all criminals
- Dedicate federal resources to eradicate human trafficking and drug trafficking
- Re-enter all agreements with our Northern Triangle partners and Mexico
- Send a clear message to potential migrants
- Deploy more federal law enforcement officers
Texas resources have been stretched thin and the White House has failed to protect the American people, surmised Abbott. He, along with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, said Biden doesn’t need Congress to enact any immediate border security measures, suggesting that with “the stroke of a pen” he can protect the country.
Ducey told me shortly after the press conference that they are sending “a direct and clear message to President Biden that this is a federal issue.” He added that “the resources have to come from the federal government…when is Washington going to wake up and pay attention?”
“It’s not just a border crisis, it’s a national security crisis,” said Ducey, just before boarding a Texas DPS armored boat patrolling the Rio Grande. “Border security is national security.”
Ducey is right. The porous border has led to an extraordinary increase in the trafficking of the deadly narcotic Fentanyl into the United States. Fentanyl deaths are up
In the September letter, the governor’s noted the “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 stated. ” 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.”
At the end of the letter the governors requested that “due to the emergent crisis, we respectfully request a meeting as soon as your schedule allows within 15 days. While we know your responsibilities as Commander in Chief are substantial, ending the national crisis and securing our states must be a priority.”
Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw said at the press conference “when we see this type of mass influx of migrants to our state, the cartels profit by exploiting the situation. Unless we act, there is no stopping them from reaching communities across the country with their drugs and violence.”
Neither Biden, nor Harris, who was appointed the border czar to resolve the crisis by Biden, responded to the letter.
You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC