Dozens of Republican governors are requesting to meet with President Biden to discuss the crisis at the southern border, which has seen historic numbers of illegal crossings so far this year with no sign of slowing down.
In a Monday request, led by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the 26 governors asked for a meeting with the president to “bring an end to the national security crisis,” which they claimed “now extends beyond to every state and requires immediate action before the situation worsens.”
“Despite the lack of federal action to reverse the crisis, many states have stepped up and committed unprecedented resources to support the security of our national border,” they wrote, citing a 500% increase in border apprehensions from last year.
“We have heard directly from our constituents about the damage this crisis has caused in our states, and it is our duty as elected officials to act swiftly to protect our communities, as it is yours.”
“While governors are doing what we can, our Constitution requires that the President must faithfully execute the immigration laws passed by Congress. Not only has the federal government created a crisis, it has left our states to deal with challenges that only the federal government has a duty to solve.”
In a separate press release, Ducey noted that in Arizona, the Yuma Sector Border Patrol alone has seen a more than 900 percent increase in border apprehensions.
“We must end the current crisis and return to border operations that respect the laws of our land and the lives of all people, including those in our states looking to the federal government to enforce and protect our nation’s borders,” the governors wrote.
The Republican state leaders have requested to meet with Biden within the next 15 days.
The letter comes after Del Rio, Texas saw thousands of illegal immigrants cross the Rio Grande and settle under the Del Rio International Bridge while they wait to be processed by Border Patrol.
The lack of manpower with Border Patrol and lack of security measures along the river lead to over 10,000 people grouped together under the bridge.
Hundreds were seen crossing the river back and forth to Mexico to purchase provisions they could not get in Texas, such as food and water.
The unfettered illegal traffic opened the potential for a “terror threat,” according to Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano.
On Sunday, more than 320 migrants were flown back to Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on three flights, and US authorities say they plan to expel the more than 12,600 migrants currently camped around the bridge.
Border Patrol is looking to process all the migrants under the bridge as quickly as possible and since Friday, have moved at least 3,300 to planes or detention centers.
The United States has seen record levels of illegal border crossings this year. On Friday, US Border Patrol in El Paso said Friday it had encountered more than 20,950 unaccompanied children through Aug. 31, breaking the previous record high in the region of just over 16,000 unaccompanied children in 2019.
Last week, border officials confirmed they had encountered 208,887 migrants at the southwestern frontier in August, marking the first time that more than 200,000 illegal immigrant encounters have been recorded in consecutive months since February and March 2000 (211,328 and 220,063, respectively).
Officials have stopped 1,323,597 illegal immigrants attempting to cross the US-Mexico border so far this year.