NATIONAL NEWS

Gov. Cox Joins 18 Governors In Letter Asking Biden To Take Action At Southern Border

May 11, 2021, 10:12 AM
Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during the PBS Utah Governor’s Monthly News Conference at the Eccles Broa...
Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during the PBS Utah Governor’s Monthly News Conference at the Eccles Broadcast Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Gov. Spencer Cox has signed on with 18 Republican governors asking the president to take action on the crisis at the southern border.

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,” part of the letter read. “We urge you to take action to end the humanitarian crisis and secure our southern border immediately.”

Cox joined Gov. Bill Lee, Tennessee; Gov. Kay Ivey, Alabama; Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona; Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas; Gov. Brad Little, Idaho; Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia; Gov. Kim Reynolds, Iowa; Gov. Eric Holcomb, Indiana; Gov. Tate Reeves, Mississippi;  Gov. Mike Parson, Missouri; Gov. Greg Gianforte, Montana; Gov. Pete Ricketts, Nebraska; Gov. Chris Sununu, New Hampshire; Gov. Doug Burgum, North Dakota; Gov. Henry McMaster, South Carolina; Gov. Kristi Noem, South Dakota; Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas; and Gov. Mark Gordon, Wyoming, in signing the letter.

President Joe Biden tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the White House effort to tackle the migration challenge at the U.S. southern border late last month.

Biden’s announcement came after images were released on March 23 of immigrant children in U.S. custody at the border, sleeping on mats under foil blankets and separated in groups by plastic partitions.

The U.S. government picked up nearly 19,000 children traveling alone across the Mexican border in March — the largest monthly number ever recorded.

And on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported the Biden administration is holding tens of thousands of asylum-seeking children in an opaque network of some 200 facilities across two dozen states.

The letter can be read in its entirety below:

“We call on you to take action on the crisis at the southern border immediately. Contrary to statements from your Administration, the border is neither closed nor secure. In fact, the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reports a staggering surge in recent crossings: 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 crisis is too big to ignore and is now spilling over the border states into all of our states. Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services called upon many of our states to identify potential housing locations for migrants. In addition, the Department circumvented our states altogether by asking private organizations and nonprofits to house unaccompanied migrant children. Often these facilities lack adequate security. Allowing the federal government to place a potentially unlimited number of unaccompanied migrant children into our states’ facilities for an unspecified length of time with almost zero transparency is unacceptable and unsustainable. 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.  

This Administration has enticed a rush of migrants to our border and incentivized an influx of illegal crossings by using irresponsible rhetoric and reversing a slew of policies — from halting border wall construction to eliminating asylum agreements to refusing to enforce immigration laws. Even officials of our neighbor, Mexico, reportedly conveyed concerns that the shift in U.S. policy is stoking illegal immigration and creating business for organized crime. As Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated, ‘They see him as the migrant president, and so many feel they’re going to reach the United States. We need to work together to regulate the flow, because this business can’t be tackled from one day to the next.’ 

The cause of the border crisis is entirely due to reckless federal policy reversals executed within your first 100 days in office. The rhetoric of the Biden Administration and the rollback of critical agreements with our allies have led to the inhumane treatment of tens of thousands of children and undermined a fragile immigration system. While the most direct victims of the policy changes will be the children exploited and trafficked by gangs and cartels, the disastrous impact of your policies on America’s recovery will be far reaching. 

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. Beyond the humanitarian crisis, the lack of border security is a criminal one, threatening the safety of American citizens. The CBP reports a 233% increase in the seizure of fentanyl compared to January last year, exacerbating the nation’s opioid epidemic. Law  enforcement officials are recovering drugs, illegal narcotics, and weapons being smuggled across the border  by cartels — the same cartels that are also trafficking men, women, and children and jeopardizing their lives. 

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. We urge you to take action to end the humanitarian crisis and secure our southern border immediately.”

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Gov. Cox Joins 18 Governors In Letter Asking Biden To Take Action At Southern Border