POLITICS & ELECTIONS

‘We should all be concerned’: Gov. Cox details trip to US-Mexico border

Feb 4, 2024, 10:19 PM | Updated: Feb 5, 2024, 5:38 am

SALT LAKE CITY — After a trip to the southern border with 14 other Republican governors, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox detailed his experience in Texas, calling the border crisis a public safety issue.

Cox returned from Texas on Sunday saying he will continue to put pressure on President Joe Biden and Congress to fix issues at the border.

“Things have gotten significantly worse, especially over the past year,” Cox said. “There’s a record number of illegal migrants who crossed the border illegally.”

A reported more than 3.2 million people illegally crossed in 2023. Cox compared that to Utah’s population of 3.4 million.

He said the situation at the border is something Utahns should care about because the impacts of illegal immigration are felt here.

“We’ve heard several governors say that every state is a border state right now,” Cox said.

Utah is welcoming

He noted that he believes Utah is welcoming to immigrants and refugees.

“There are lots of false narratives around here that if you care about border security, that means you hate immigrants or refugees,” Cox said. “That is not true.”

Cox said he thinks Biden needs to enforce existing immigration laws.

“President Biden can’t fix all of this, but he can fix most of this with the authority that he has,” Cox said.

He said Congress should make changes, too.

“Congress has also abdicated their responsibility for the past 40 years to help fix some of the things that are broken with immigration,” Cox said.

The journey to the States can be deadly. Cox said when people do make it to the states, including Utah, there may not be a guaranteed place for them to stay.

“It’s putting a strain on our resources,” he said.

Drugs are finding their way to the Beehive State

He said drugs like meth and fentanyl are also making their way to Utah.

“The numbers that are being apprehended at the border are just, they’re mind-blowing,” Cox said.

The governor said it’s making drug addiction in the Beehive State worse.

“You can literally walk through downtown Salt Lake City and see the impacts of those drugs that are coming across the border with Mexico,” Cox said.

He called the border crisis a public safety issue.

“Part of stopping illegal immigration is to fix legal immigration,” Cox said.

The governor said he’ll continue to press the president and Congress to make changes.

“Fix legal immigration so people can come through the front door the right way,” he said.

Cox said he believes most of the immigrants who come to the United States are good people seeking a better life. He said he’s concerned about lives being put at risk by those with bad intentions making it across the border.

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‘We should all be concerned’: Gov. Cox details trip to US-Mexico border