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Arizona’s Ducey, Texas’ Abbott blame Biden for border issues in op-ed piece

A group of migrants wait to be processed by United States Border Patrol agents after arriving illegally from Mexico on March 29, 2021 in Roma, Texas. The group made up of individuals from mostly Central American countries turned themselves into the Border Patrol after smugglers brought them across the Rio Grande. Members of the group are attempting to be granted asylum in the U.S. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey joined fellow Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas on Wednesday to pen an op-ed piece for The Washington Post placing blame on President Joe Biden’s administration for the issues at the border while offering ideas of a solution.

The two called on Biden to make a trip to the U.S. border in each state to see the situation first-hand, adding the Border Patrol is overwhelmed, citizens in border communities are concerned for their safety and nonprofits attempting to aid the issue are strained.

The U.S. last month saw the largest number of Border Patrol encounters overall with migrants on the southern border — just under 170,000 — since March 2001 and a record number of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the border.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in March told ABC News the border was closed and secure, a statement Ducey and Abbott said in the letter was “astonishingly out-of-touch.”

Ducey and Abbott in the letter said the Biden administration’s reversal of the immigration policies of former President Donald Trump’s administration, such as the migrant protection protocols, are leading to the unprecedented surge of migrants at the border.

Immediately reinstating the migrant protection protocols was one of the various ideas to fix the issue proposed by Ducey and Abbott.

The two also said administration officials at all levels should state clearly the U.S. border is not open and those who want a better life or more economic opportunity should not be attempting to utilize the asylum process, with the State Department being heavily engaged in this strategy. Ducey and Abbott also requested federal reimbursement of state national guard deployment to the border.

The letter is the most recent criticism from Ducey of Biden’s border policy. The Arizona governor visited the southern border on March 19 in Douglas and said “I’ve been governor under three presidents, and this is by far the worst situation we’ve seen.”

Ducey and Abbott said they support legal immigration but what’s currently happening at the border is not legal and needs to end, calling on Biden and his team to resolve the issues as soon as possible for the protection of both states, migrants and the country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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