Republican governors join Abbott in release of 10-point plan to secure the southern border

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

This week a group of Republican governors came together in Mission, Texas to talk about the Biden border crisis. Nine governors joined Governor Abbott for a news conference to present a 10-point plan titled ‘Joint Policy Framework on the Border Crisis’. While one reporter for the Houston Chronicle dismissively described the news conference as one called “to blame President Joe Biden’s administration for the escalating migrant crossings at the border”, the ideas brought forth are by governors from across the country who are tasked with problem-solving.

It’s true, there would be no need for Governor Abbott to hold conferences with other governors and elected officials, as well as law enforcement agencies if the Biden administration was doing its job in securing the southern border. It isn’t and that leaves the burden on Governor Abbott and others to do it. The problem is that national security and protecting the country’s sovereignty are the job of the federal government. It has the resources to do the job. Biden simply chooses not to do that job. He and his administration prefer to pursue policies that keep our southern border open and encourage waves of illegal migration flooding the border.

Many Republican governors have sent law enforcement support to Texas at the request of Governor Abbott. The governors who have guardsmen or other agency support personnel still in Texas were able to visit them and see the work they are doing. Governors Ducey (Arizona), Kemp (Georgia), Little (Idaho), Reynolds (Iowa), Gianforte (Montana), Ricketts (Nebraska), DeWine (Ohio), Stitt (Oklahoma), Noem (South Dakota) participated in discussions this week with Border Patrol leadership, Texas Department of Public Safety officials others directly involved in border security. Governor Hutchinson also visited the border at Mission this week and during an interview after a night tour along the Rio Grande River, he put the blame of the border crisis squarely on Biden. He visited Arkansas National Guardsmen currently deployed at the border.

The “Joint Policy Framework on the Border Crisis” plan lists 10 policies to “protect America, restore security, and end the crisis.” Governor Ducey addressed the fact that despite requests for help, border states are being ignored by the Biden administration. Biden refuses to even meet with the governors.

As part of the new policy, Ducey called for the Biden Administration to dedicate additional federal resources to control human and drug trafficking along the southern border. The Arizona governor also called for the U.S. to reenter all agreements with its Northern Triangle partners, including Mexico, and added that officials should speak with a unified voice that the country’s borders are not open.

Ducey said he and 25 other governors, some of which were present at the press conference, sent a letter to the White House in September requesting a meeting to discuss border policy, which he claimed went ignored. “We’ve tried to meet with the president and be a part of the solution, but he refuses,” Ducey said. “Even worse, he ignores us, just like he’s ignoring the border and the wellbeing of the American people.”

If Biden was seriously concerned about border security he would be meeting regularly with the states dealing with the situation and providing the resources needed. Instead, he ignores requests for meetings and last week denied Governor Abbott’s request for an emergency declaration that would have freed up federal funds to be used on the border. No one state has the resources to secure the border, not even Texas. It is not the job of a state to be responsible for doing the federal government’s job. In August the Texas legislature agreed to budget nearly $2B for border security. That is an all-time high. It isn’t sustainable.

Some governors addressed their concern of illegal aliens being dumped into their states without prior notice in order to move them away from border communities and into the interior of the country.

Reynolds followed Ducey and said the Biden Administration should also notify governors when migrants and unaccompanied children are being dropped off in their states because they then become responsible for them.

“In addition to that they need to resume the deportation of all convicted criminals,” Reynolds said. “When President Biden took office the first thing he did was issue an executive order that ordered ICE do limited deportations. That is unacceptable. That should have never happened.”

Rickets also called for the Biden Administration to end the “catch-and-release” program, which Rickets said incentivizes people to come across the border illegally. “That is creating a crisis not only here at the border but health hazards across our country,” he said, also suggesting the program has led to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

Rickets finished by saying the Biden Administration needs to “properly resource” the border. “This is not new,” he said. “Four previous administrations deployed National Guard troops to the border to be able to help out with this crisis down here. The administration needs to call more soldiers to be able to do that. They can do that under Title X so that the states don’t bare the cost. That’s what the proper role of the federal government is.”

This isn’t just a Texas and Arizona problem. It spreads around the country. The governors recommend the common-sense policies of the previous administration be reinstated. Those policies worked and Biden’s refusal to admit that he’s been wrong to reverse them is a large part of the problem. It shows he deliberately wants the border to remain porous, an open invitation for floods of migrant caravans.

The governors additionally recommended reinstating other policies established during Trump’s administration, including the Migrant Protection Protocols and agreements with Mexico and the “Northern Triangle” countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

“President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Biden Administration officials at every level should state clearly and unequivocally that our country’s borders are not open and that migrants seeking economic opportunity should not attempt to abuse or misuse the asylum process,” the governors said as part of their ninth policy recommendation.

We won’t hold our breath. The Biden administration isn’t concerned about national security or the burdens illegal aliens place on states. This is intentional. The governors dealing with the situation, however, have no other option but to continue to try to persuade Biden to do his job. A good start would be to come to the border himself and see what is going on. By the way, where’s Kamala?

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