MISSION, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and 10 other Republican governors laid out 10 actions Wednesday that they believe the Biden administration should take to address the border crisis.
The like-minded governors of Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming joined Abbott at a press conference about unauthorized immigration at about 1 p.m. ET.
The state leaders discussed actions that they’re taking to keep communities safe and outlined steps they say the federal government could take to help secure the border.
Abbott shared the first three actions the governors are suggesting.
He said the Biden administration should reinstate the remain in Mexico protocols, which require asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while awaiting their court hearing.
“The Biden administration must finish securing the border, which includes, among other things, finishing the border wall,” he said.
He also said Biden should enforce Title 42 health restrictions at the border.
After Abbott, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey suggested three more actions the administration could take, including dedicating federal resources needed to irradicate human trafficking and drug trafficking along the southern border.
“We need additional resources to fight drug cartels, arrest offenders, support victims, and prevent lethal and dangerous drugs from reaching American cities and schools across our country,” said Ducey.
Ducey added that the governors believe the U.S. should reenter all agreements with its Northern Triangle partners, including Mexico. He added that officials should speak with a unified message about the U.S. not having open borders.
“President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Biden administration officials at every level of government need to speak with a unified and clear voice to potential migrants: Our country’s borders are not open, and abuse or misuse of the asylum system will not be tolerated,” said Ducey.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds followed Ducey and said Biden should notify governors when migrants and unaccompanied children are being dropped off in their states, because they then become responsible for them.
“In addition to that, they need to resume the deportation of all convicted criminals. When President Biden took office, the first thing he did was to issue an executive order that ordered ICE to do limited deportations. That is unacceptable. That should have never happened. All convicted illegal criminals need to be deported. And that is another thing he could do tomorrow,” said Reynolds.
Lastly, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said the administration should end the “catch and release” program that he says incentivizes people to come across the border illegally because they are then released.
Ricketts ended by saying the White House must “properly resource” the border.
“Now look folks, this is not new. Four previous administrations have deployed National Guard troops to the border to be able to help out with this crisis down here. The Biden administration needs to call up more soldiers to be able to do that. They can do that under Title 10, so that the states don’t bear the cost. That’s what the proper role of the federal government is,” said Ricketts.
The governors at the press conference said they and several of their other GOP colleagues in other states sent a letter to Biden requesting a meeting about the border, but nothing came out of it.
“Either he’s unwilling to solve this crisis or he doesn’t know how, so we’re here to offer solutions. It’s been 16 days since we sent the president the letter and we still haven’t heard anything back,” said Ducey.
GOP governors across the country have been critical of many of Biden’s policies, including the Democrat’s handling of the situation at the border. Those criticisms were heightened when thousands of migrants, many from Haiti, set up makeshift camps along the Rio Grande River. Those camps have now largely been dispersed.
The U.S. has seen a rise in the number of migrants at the border in recent months. The U.S. Border Patrol reported nearly 200,000 encounters with migrants along the border in July, the highest monthly total in more than two decades, according to Pew Research.
The migrants are traveling to the border for a number of reasons, but many are fleeing terrible living conditions in some Central American and Caribbean countries, with hopes of a better life in the U.S.