ARIZONA NEWS

Ducey among 20 GOP governors to sign letter to Biden on border issues

May 12, 2021, 4:15 AM
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey was one of 20 Republican governors who signed a letter Tuesday criticizing the border policies of President Joe Biden’s administration and calling on the White House to take action to end the crisis at the southern border.

“As a border state, Arizona is on the front lines of the border crisis,” Ducey said in a press release. “We feel the impacts of human trafficking, drug smuggling and this humanitarian crisis first.

“Now, the Biden-Harris border crisis is affecting other states too. And it’s clear the crisis is the direct result of this administration’s broken policies and botched messaging.”

The letter signed by the governors cited Customs and Border Patrol reports of 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 said the Biden administration’s decision to halt border wall construction, eliminate asylum agreements and refusal to enforce immigration laws is what “enticed a rush of migrants to our border and incentivized an influx of illegal crossings.”

“Contrary to statements from your administration, the border is neither closed nor secure,” the letter read. “The crisis is too big to ignore and is now spilling over the border states into all of our states.”

It was also said in the letter that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is asking many of the states whose governors signed the letter to identify potential housing locations for migrants.

“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 letter read.

“Federal, state, and local authorities are overwhelmed, and the situation on the ground is heartbreaking. After a dangerous journey, many children are living in overcrowded conditions with uncertain futures and without parents or loved ones to care for them.”

The letter ended by urging Biden to take action to secure the southern border immediately and end the humanitarian crisis.

“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,” the letter read.

In Arizona, Ducey on April 20 issued a Declaration of Emergency and announced the deployment of the National Guard to the state’s southern border to support local law enforcement efforts.

The Arizona State Emergency Council approved nearly $2.8 million to help fund the mission until the passage of the $25 million legislative appropriation.

Both Democratic U.S. Senators from Arizona, Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, have also called on Biden to take action at the border and requested the Biden administration reimburse the state for the deployment of the National Guard.

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