(Idaho Governor’s Office Press Release, September 20, 2022)
Boise, Idaho – Exactly one year ago, Governor Brad Little and half of the nation’s governors issued a joint letter to President Joe Biden requesting a meeting within 15 days to discuss the crisis at the southern border.
Now, 365 days later, the governors are still waiting.
“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,” Governor Little said. “America’s governors, including me, are STILL asking the President to talk to us and work with us on solutions to the crisis.”
Idaho’s growing drug threat is a direct consequence of the loose border with Mexico. Law enforcement reporting shows the supply of illicit fentanyl from Mexico in the region has become much more prevalent. The majority of officers surveyed reported that investigations involving fentanyl were directly tied to sources in Mexico. Law enforcement reporting shows drugs are primarily transported into Oregon and Idaho from Mexico through California. Approximately 96-percent of Drug Trafficking Organizations investigated identified Mexico as the source country for drugs trafficked into the region.
The governors’ plea for the President to listen to them last September followed another request sent by the Governors earlier last year, which also went unanswered.
Following the 15-day period with no response from the Biden administration, the governors released 10 policy solutions the administration could enact immediately to protect America, restore security, and put us on a path to end the crisis at the southern border. The administration never responded, and the border crisis has only become more deadly and dangerous for both Americans and migrants in the time that has passed.
Governor Little sent a team of specialized state troopers to Arizona in 2021 to assist with drug interdiction, and he joined half the nations’ governors in creating the American Governors’ Border Strike Force. He and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden also joined a lawsuit challenging Biden’s Title 42 border decision.
Governor Little also hosted a roundtable with Idaho law enforcement last year to discuss Idaho’s growing drug threat and the connection to the U.S.-Mexico border, and also created Operation Esto Perpetua in March to protect our children from drugs. He recommended and the Legislature approved $250,000 to carry out objectives of the initiative. He directed another $1 million this summer to fight the deadly impacts of fentanyl.