(Idaho Governor’s Office Press Release, October 6, 2021)
MCALLEN, TX – Governor Brad Little and the 25 other Governors who requested a meeting with President Joe Biden to discuss the border released ten policy solutions today that the Biden Administration could enact immediately to protect America, restore security, and put us on a path to end the crisis at the southern border.
Nearly a dozen governors, including Governor Little, joined together in Mission, Texas, today to meet with Texas Department of Public Safety officials and discuss how these steps could reduce record levels of illegal immigration.
“The sustained availability of drugs and the impact from crime related to drug abuse – including property and violent crimes – present continuing threats to the health and safety of Idahoans. Meth and fentanyl are the most serious and growing drug threats in Idaho, and there is a direct tie to the loose border with Mexico. America’s governors, including me, are asking the President to talk to us and work with us on solutions to the crisis,” Governor Little said.
The governors last month requested a meeting with the President to discuss the crisis on the southern border – including a nearly 500-percent surge in border apprehensions and the seizure of more fentanyl this year than the last three years combined.
The president has not yet agreed to meet with the Governors.
Governor Little sent a specialized team of Idaho State Police troopers to the border this summer to assist with intelligence gathering and investigative work related to drug interdiction at the border. The troopers completed their weeks-long mission, serving both as a force multiplier for local efforts at a time when it’s needed along the border and, importantly, to bring back to Idaho the experience of seeing and learning up-to-the-minute enforcement techniques.
The “Joint Policy Framework on the Border Crisis” from the majority of the nation’s Governors follows.
JOINT POLICY FRAMEWORK ON THE BORDER CRISIS
10 Policies to Protect America, Restore Security, and End the Crisis
- Continue Title 42 public health restrictions: The Biden Administration should continue to invoke Title 42 to refuse entry to individuals coming into the country due to the COVID-19 public health risk, which was initially issued by the previous administration. Title 42 currently expels approximately 44% of apprehensions. In July, more than 18% of migrant families and 20% of unaccompanied minors tested positive for COVID-19 upon being released from Border Patrol custody. Reports estimate that the Biden Administration has placed approximately 40,000 COVID-19 positive migrants into American cities.
- Fully reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols: The Biden Administration should comply with recent federal court rulings and fully reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) established by the prior administration, which require asylum seekers to return to Mexico to await their court hearing outside of the United States, serving as a deterrent to cross. Upon taking office, President Biden issued a directive to terminate the MPP, and although litigation may continue, the Biden Administration should halt any attempts to appeal and fully reinstate the policy.
- Finish securing the border: The Biden Administration should reopen construction contracts to continue building the border wall and invest in infrastructure and technology, such as lights, sensors, or access roads, to complete the border security system. Upon taking office, President Biden terminated the national emergency at the border, stopped all border construction, and redirected funds to build the wall.
- End catch and release: The Biden Administration should end the Obama-era policy of catching and releasing apprehended migrants into U.S. cities along the South Texas border, leaving illegal immigrants paroled and able to travel anywhere in the country. Upon taking office, President Biden issued an Executive Order reinstating catch and release policies that incentivize illegal immigration and make deportation laws difficult to enforce.
- Clear the judicial backlog: The Biden Administration should dedicate additional judges and resources to our U.S. immigration courts to end the growing backlog and expedite court appearances for illegal migrants. Reports indicate backlogged cases total more than 1 million, the most ever.
- Resume the deportation of all criminals: The Biden Administration should enforce all deportation laws of criminally convicted illegal aliens. Upon taking office, President Biden issued an Executive Order ordering the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to prioritize only the deportation of aggravated felons, gang members, or terrorists, leaving other criminals to remain in the United States.
- Dedicate federal resources to eradicate human trafficking and drug trafficking: Due to the rapid increase of cartel activity, the Biden Administration should dedicate additional resources to eradicate the surge in human trafficking and drug trafficking, arrest offenders, support victims, and get dangerous drugs—like fentanyl and methamphetamine—off our streets.
- Re-enter all agreements with our Northern Triangle partners and Mexico: President Biden should re-enter the prior administration’s agreement with the Northern Triangle countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) and Mexico. The countries agreed to enforce their respective borders, fix their asylum systems, and receive migrants seeking asylum before they journey north to the United States. Upon taking office, President Biden issued an Executive Order terminating the agreements.
- Send a clear message to potential migrants: President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Biden Administration officials at every level should state clearly and unequivocally that our country’s borders are not open and that migrants seeking economic opportunity should not attempt to abuse or misuse the asylum process. Prior to and after taking office, President Biden blatantly encouraged illegal immigrants to come to the United States.
- Deploy more federal law enforcement officers: Due to overwhelming needs at the border, the Biden Administration should deploy more and provide greater resources to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Due to a lack of federal resources, Arizona and Texas have had to initiate an Emergency Management Assistance Compact to request law enforcement resources directly from states, receiving offers from eight states, to arrest and detain illegal trespassers.