A group of Republican governors has formed a Border Strike Force. It is a multistate initiative aimed at securing the southern border. The group is comprised of governors across the country, not just ones from border states. The latest Republican to join the group is one who was critical of the previous administration’s actions to secure the southern border.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu seems to have had a change of opinion on border security enforcement. In 2018 he refused to send National Guard troops to the southern border in protest of alleged “family separation” policies employed by the Trump administration. That was then and this is now. Now he is up for re-election and suddenly he’s a border hawk in sync with other Republican governors. He’s read the room. Democrats alarmed that voters are angry about the Biden border crisis and vulnerable candidates, like New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan, are election year converts on securing the southern border. Welcome to the party, Governor Sununu. Better late than never.
Biden’s ineptness in announcing an end to Title 42 has created chaos in his own party. Vulnerable Democrats up for re-election in the November midterm elections are running away from Biden and pretending to be concerned about the sovereignty of our country. It’s all about saving their own political careers because up until now they didn’t say a peep about Biden’s border crisis. The hypocrisy is noticeable. Sununu falls into the same category with them.
The politics of Sununu’s decision to put New Hampshire in the Governor’s Border Strike Force are complicated by the shifting policy stances of Granite State Democrats facing tough election battles in the fall. After years of supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants and opposing Trump’s wall, both Sen. Maggie Hassan and Rep. Chris Sununu have recently announced their support for more border enforcement. They both also support using Title 42 to turn away migrants seeking asylum without a hearing. Nearly 2 million undocumented immigrants have been turned away under the policy since Trump implemented it at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Sununu was the only northeastern governor to sign onto the compact — Republicans Charlie Baker (Mass.) and Phil Scott (Vt.) were a “no”– Maryland moderate Gov. Larry Hogan is on board. Sununu’s decision also brings him together with border hawks like Texas Gov. Greg Abbot, Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis, and South Dakota’s Kristi Noem.
While their states and ideologies within the GOP are far apart, all five of these governors are rumored to be considering a White House bid in 2024.
Democrats now on board with border security provide cover for an opportunist like Sununu now. It seems like just a couple of days ago that Sununu met Joe Biden at the airport and enjoyed a good laugh with Sleepy Joe. That’s because it was. Sununu called Trump ‘f***ing crazy’ at the Gridiron Club dinner and Biden laughed with Sununu over that. Apparently, Biden and Sununu have bonded over their hatred of Trump.
The creation of the American Governors Border Strike Force began in January. As we know, the flood of illegal migrants exploded as Biden came into office and stopped the policies and agreements used by the previous administration that were working at the border. By January 2022, it was painfully clear that the Biden border crisis is intentional and neither DHS or the president have any desire to secure the border. Border states have been on their own since Biden took office and now the border crisis is affecting states across the country. DHS is bussing and flying illegal migrants to states across the country in order to relieve overcrowding at the border. Migrants arrive in the middle of the night in states far away from the border and become the problem of those communities.
The strike force is modeled after one put in place in Arizona in 2015.
The 26-state “American Governors Border Strike Force” is aimed at enhancing intelligence sharing, combating human smuggling and drug trafficking through improved interdiction between Interstates 10 and 40 and keeping an eye on cybersecurity issues, among other goals.
The multistate initiative is modeled after a similar one that Arizona created in 2015, which Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s (R) office said in a release seized 801 pounds of heroin and 985 pounds of fentanyl, among other drug seizures, since it started.
“What we’re doing in Arizona works,” Ducey said in a statement. “But this is not just an Arizona issue, it’s a national issue. If our entire southern border isn’t secure, our nation isn’t secure.”
The other states involved in the effort are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.
The pressure on Biden to reverse his decision isn’t going away. On Thursday, more than twenty states filed a temporary restraining order to block Biden from lifting Title 42. The filing notes that the administration has already ended Title 42 when it comes to handling illegal migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Instead of using Title 42, DHS is processing illegal migrants through Title 8, according to plaintiffs.
The states said the “premature implementation of the Title 42 Termination Order” means the effects the plaintiffs were trying to avoid may already be occurring.
“This premature implementation of the Title 42 Termination Order unfortunately means that the irreparable harms that the States sought to avoid through their preliminary injunction motion may already be occurring now,” the filing reads.
The states want answers by a specific date, pressuring the administration to make clear what exactly is going on so that they can determine what kind of relief they will need.
“Given that the enormous potential harms identified in the States’ preliminary injunction motion are likely already occurring, the States respectfully request that this Court enter a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) against any implementation of the Termination Order before its May 23 effective date, and require Defendants to continue processing migrants pursuant to Title 42 rather than Title 8,” the filing adds.
The plaintiffs also asked that DHS “report on its activities on an expedited basis so that the States can consider whether additional relief is appropriate to seek.” They are specifically requesting a declaration under oath, submitted by April 24, that explains what actions, if any, they have taken to apply the Title 42 termination.
The states seeking a restraining order include Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Frankly, Biden and Mayorkas deserve the headaches they now experience over their incompetent actions. Biden has no clue of what is happening at the southern border. He has not visited any part of the region for a first hand look at the humanitarian crisis. Mayorkas is deliberately ignoring the chaos and rarely visits the region or meets with Border Patrol agents. Both men have received intelligence reports that a coming explosion in the numbers of illegal migrants at the border is on the horizon when Title 42 is lifted. They’ve been warned. They just don’t care.