DES MOINES - Today, Governor Kim Reynolds and 25 other governors issued a joint letter urging President Joe Biden to meet with them to discuss the crisis at the U.S. Southern Border. The governors’ letter can be found here.
“My first responsibility is to the health and safety of Iowans, and the humanitarian and national security crisis at our nation’s southern border is affecting all 50 states,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Our immigration system may be complicated and complex, but the solution to ending the border crisis is simple and straightforward. President Biden has the ability and the duty to take action to protect America, restore security, and end the crisis now.”
Border apprehensions are up nearly 500% compared to last year, totaling over 1.3 million people, more than the populations of nine U.S. states. Approximately 9,700 illegal apprehensions have prior criminal convictions. Cartels and traffickers are making $14 million a day moving people illegally across the border. Nearly 10,500 pounds of fentanyl have been seized this fiscal year, more than the last three years combined. To put that into context, only 2 milligrams of fentanyl can prove fatal, meaning that this amount is enough to kill seven times the U.S. population.
The crisis at the border does not stay at the border. In Iowa, law enforcement officials are seeing an uptick in major narcotics crimes. Iowa law enforcement seized roughly 6,136 grams of fentanyl between January and June of this year, which marks a 1,070% increase from the same period last year. Methamphetamine seizures are also on the rise, increasing 122% in the first half of this year, where officers seized 133,444 grams.
In response to this threat and the failure of the Biden Administration to act, earlier this year Governors Ducey and Abbott requested assistance. Governor Reynolds responded, sending 28 Iowa Department of Public Safety law enforcement officers to assist the Texas Department of Public Safety with four key mission tasks including traffic duties, humanitarian efforts, tactical operations and human smuggling operations.
The Biden Administration has also failed to provide notice and transparency in their movement of unaccompanied migrant children into states. In April, the Biden Administration kept Iowa in the dark and initially denied involvement in a flight transporting 19 unaccompanied migrant girls from the border to Des Moines International Airport in the middle of the night. Only after continued inquiry, nearly one month later the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement finally acknowledged their involvement.
“While governors are doing what we can, our Constitution requires that the President must faithfully execute the immigration laws passed by Congress,” Gov. Reynolds stated in the letter. “Not only has the federal government created a crisis, it has left our states to deal with challenges that the federal government has a duty to solve.”
Signatories to the letter include Governor Ducey, Arizona, Governor Abbott, Texas, Governor Ivey, Alabama, Governor Dunleavy, Alaska, Governor Hutchinson, Arkansas, Governor DeSantis, Florida, Governor Kemp, Georgia, Governor Little, Idaho, Governor Holcomb, Indiana, Governor Reynolds, Iowa, Governor Hogan, Maryland, Governor Baker, Massachusetts, Governor Reeves, Mississippi, Governor Parson, Missouri, Governor Gianforte, Montana, Governor Ricketts, Nebraska, Governor Sununu, New Hampshire, Governor Burgum, North Dakota, Governor DeWine, Ohio, Governor Stitt, Oklahoma, Governor McMaster, South Carolina, Governor Noem, South Dakota, Governor Lee, Tennessee, Governor Cox, Utah, Governor Justice, West Virginia, and Governor Gordon, Wyoming.