In the absence of an effective response from the federal government regarding the ballooning crisis at the border, several Republican governors have taken matters into their own hands in order to quell the anticipated surge at the border.
While the White House currently waffles on whether or not to extent Title 42 protections, Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona and Governor Greg Abbott of Texas, alongside 24 of their other peers, launched the American Governors’ Border Strike Force on Tuesday.
The Border Strike Force is designed to address the deepening crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, which has significantly worsened after the progress made by the Trump administration in combatting illegal border entries.
News regarding the creation of the group surfaces as a March report from the United States Customs and Border Protection emerges, which revealed yet another record-breaking number for illegal border crossings in March: a gargantuan 221,303.
The American Governors’ Border Strike Force is somewhat akin to the Arizona Border Strike Force in terms of its structure; the former simply has a broader focus than the latter, as the Arizona Border Strike Force’s operations are specific to Arizona.
The Arizona Border Strike Force has encountered success at quelling rising crime at the border ever since its inception 2015, reporting that officials have seized “801 funds of heroin,” “1,704 pounds of cocaine,” “13,100 pounds of methamphetamine,” and “985 pounds of fentanyl” over the years from criminal activity at the border.
Given the success of the the Arizona Border Strike Force, the new multi-state effort will engage in an array of efforts to achieve the group’s goals, including intelligence sharing, cybersecurity enhancement, and collective efforts to protect communities.
“What we’re doing in Arizona works,” Ducey proclaimed.
“But this is not just an Arizona issue, it’s a national issue,” Ducey continued, noting that if the entirety of the border is not secure, then the United States isn’t secure.
“As dangerous transnational criminal organizations continue to profit from holes in the border and fill our communities with drugs, it’s no coincidence that we’re seeing historic levels of opioid-related deaths,” Ducey continued.
“My thanks to my fellow governors who saw the problem and chose to be part of the solution,” Ducey concluded.
The governor who intend to assist on the multi-state task force include Wyoming, West Virginia, Virgnia, Utah, Tennessee, South Dakota, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Ohio, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Mississippi, Maryland, Iowa, Indiana, Idaho, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Alaska, and Alabama.