By CASEY HARPER | THE CENTER SQUARE
A coalition of state attorneys general sent a letter Monday to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas backing Texas in its border battle with the Biden administration.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defied the Biden administration last week, making clear he would continue to put up concertina wire fencing at the southern border to help stop the flow of illegal immigration, which has soared since Biden took office.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the issue last week, saying federal agents could continue to remove the concertina wire, but the ruling did not prohibit Texas from installing the border defenses. Abbott said after the ruling that the federal government had broken its pact with the states for not stopping what more than 50 Texas counties have declared an “invasion.”
That court case is the latest touchpoint for the ongoing immigration crisis and frustration of many border states and Republicans who argue Biden is willfully aiding millions of illegal immigrants get into the U.S.
“Since the Biden Administration has failed to do its job and secure the border, states like Texas have stepped up to protect their citizens,” the letter said. “A federal district court found that Texas’s border defense wires reduced illegal border crossings by more than two-thirds. Those barriers protect not just Texans from millions of illegal border crossings, but the rest of the nation.”
More than 10 million illegal immigrants have entered the U.S. since Biden took office, more than the population of about 40 U.S. states.
An impeachment effort is underway in the House for Mayorkas, the recipient of the letter, over similar concerns about the lack of border enforcement and Mayorkas policies.
The Biden administration has blamed Republicans, saying they have not passed the needed funding to secure the border. Republicans have pushed back, saying Biden’s changes to things like asylum policies have turned border agents into a processing and entry program instead of deterrence.
The Monday letter sided with Texas and said states “have an independent duty to defend against invasion.”
The letter was signed by attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The leadership of the Arizona state legislature signed as well.
Earlier this month, Taylor joined forces with 26 other states to support Texas’s border defense efforts in a separate letter addressed to the Biden Administration. The letter, spearheaded by Iowa and Utah, highlights growing concerns about the ongoing border crisis and urges the federal government to take decisive action to secure the southern border.
Governor Mike Dunleavy expressed his support for Gov. Abbott’s efforts to address the border crisis, stating, “The lack of resolve by the federal government under the current administration is causing a catastrophe at the border that is impacting law-abiding Americans across our country. The current administration in Washington is failing its citizens and has completely abrogated its responsibility to secure our borders.”
Border Patrol agents, following the Biden Administration’s directives, have reportedly cut Texas’s border defense wires more than 20 times in just one month. In a shocking incident, a forklift was used to raise the wire, allowing over 300 individuals to enter the country. Due to the lack of proper vetting, it remains uncertain how many of these new arrivals are peaceful migrants seeking a better life and how many may be associated with criminal networks.