Original Article By Katelyn Caralle At DailyMail.co.uk
- Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday the launch of the American Governors’ Border Strike Force
- The initiative includes all 26 Republican governors teaming up to ‘fill the void created by federal inaction and work to secure the southern border’
- The number of crossings reached a two-decade high in March with CBP apprehending 221,303 migrants
- When Title 42 ends next month, estimates predict the monthly crossers could triple to 18,000 encounters per day
All 26 Republican governors launched an initiative Tuesday to help secure the southern border as the U.S. braves for a tripling in migration once the Biden administration ends pandemic-era Title 42 next month.
The American Governors’ Border Strike Force, led by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, is aimed at ‘fill[ing] the void created by federal inaction and work to secure the southern border by sharing intelligence, strengthening cybersecurity and improving efforts to protect children and families.’
‘Today’s announcement comes as the Biden administration is preparing to lift Title 42, a common-sense policy that has helped secure the border,’ Ducey’s office wrote of the new initiative.
Border crossing numbers skyrocketed in March to the highest point of Joe Biden‘s “residency” with Customs and border Protection (CBP) apprehending 221,303 migrants crossing the southern border.
Since Biden took office in January 2021, CBP has encountered more than 2.4 million migrants.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced earlier this month that it is ending Title 42, which allowed for immediate expulsion of migrants without hearing asylum claims at the border during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Republicans – and even some Democrats – are warning that ending the pandemic-era will lead to a tripling in border crossings with already record-setting numbers.
A few bipartisan pieces of legislation are going through Congress right now that would prevent Title 42 from ending until the public health emergency for the coronavirus pandemic is ended in the U.S.
The American Governors’ Border Strike Force was launched the day after March’s border crossing numbers showed a two-decade high.
The program is based on the Arizona Border Strike Force, which was developed by Ducey in 2015, and since its inception has led to the seizure of ‘985 pounds of fentanyl, 13,100 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,704 pounds of cocaine and 801 pounds of heroin.’
‘What we’re doing in Arizona works,’ Ducey said. ‘But this is not just an Arizona issue, it’s a national issue.’
‘If our entire southern border isn’t secure, our nation isn’t secure,’ he continued. ‘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.’
The red states where governors are joining the strike force include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.
No governors of blue states are part of the effort.
Ducey and Abbott, border state governors, first teamed up to form the collaboration in December.
Border Patrol has expressed the need for more analytical and cyber assistance – as well as more boots on the ground to help with securing the border instead of getting stuck working at processing centers.
The 26-state-wide effort includes several initiatives that will target cartels and drug and human smuggling.
‘With record breaking migration leading to an overwhelming amount of apprehensions at the southern border, law enforcement is stretched too thin to effectively combat the cartels,’ Ducey’s office statement reads.
‘This leads to more drugs entering the country, more dangerous individuals avoiding arrest, and more victims of human trafficking,’ it adds.
The effort will also improve sharing of intelligence and analyses of crimes in respective states that could help with border security.