Governor Ducey, 19 Other Governors Call On Biden-Harris White House To End Border Crisis

News Release

May 11, 2021

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey joined 19 fellow governors today to call for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to reverse their destructive policies that have created the crisis at the southern border. Today’s letter follows months of deteriorating conditions at the border in Arizona and other states. 

In March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 172,000 encounters, the highest number in nearly 20 years, well as 18,890 unaccompanied children, the largest monthly number in history.

“As a border state, Arizona is on the front lines of the border crisis. We feel the impacts of human trafficking, drug smuggling and this humanitarian crisis first,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “Now, the Biden-Harris border crisis is affecting other states too. And it’s clear the crisis is the direct result of this administration’s broken policies and botched messaging.”

“Arizona has deployed all available resources, including the National Guard, but we need federal cooperation to secure the border,” Governor Ducey said. “Today, I am joining 19 fellow governors to call for immediate action from President Biden and Vice President Harris to stop this crisis before it gets even worse.”

Arizona has been calling for action on the border crisis from the federal government for months. Last month, Governor Ducey declared a state of emergency at the southern border and deployed the Arizona National Guard to support law enforcement agencies in border regions. The Governor visited a wide-open section of the border in Yuma and called on President Biden to issue a national state of emergency on the border. Governor Ducey and Texas Governor Greg Abbott also wrote a joint op-ed in the Washington Post. 

View a copy of the letter HERE. Read the full text of the letter below:

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Dear President Biden and Vice President Harris, 

We call on you to take action on the crisis at the southern border immediately. Contrary to statements from your Administration, the border is neither closed nor secure. In fact, the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reports a staggering surge in recent crossings: 172,000 encounters in March, the highest number in nearly 20 years, as well as 18,890 unaccompanied children, the largest monthly number in history. 

The crisis is too big to ignore and is now spilling over the border states into all of our states. Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services called upon many of our states to identify potential housing locations for migrants. In addition, the Department circumvented our states altogether by asking private organizations and nonprofits to house unaccompanied migrant children. Often these facilities lack adequate security. Allowing the federal government to place a potentially unlimited number of unaccompanied migrant children into our states’ facilities for an unspecified length of time with almost zero transparency is unacceptable and unsustainable. We have neither the resources nor the obligation to solve the federal government’s problem and foot the bill for the consequences of this Administration’s misguided actions. 

This Administration has enticed a rush of migrants to our border and incentivized an influx of illegal crossings by using irresponsible rhetoric and reversing a slew of policies—from halting border wall construction to eliminating asylum agreements to refusing to enforce immigration laws. Even officials of our neighbor, Mexico, reportedly conveyed concerns that the shift in U.S. policy is stoking illegal immigration and creating business for organized crime. As Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated, “They see him as the migrant president, and so many feel they’re going to reach the United States. We need to work together to regulate the flow, because this business can’t be tackled from one day to the next.” 

The cause of the border crisis is entirely due to reckless federal policy reversals executed within your first 100 days in office. The rhetoric of the Biden Administration and the rollback of critical agreements with our allies have led to the inhumane treatment of tens of thousands of children and undermined a fragile immigration system. While the most direct victims of the policy changes will be the children exploited and trafficked by gangs and cartels, the disastrous impact of your policies on America’s recovery will be far-reaching. 

Federal, state, and local authorities are overwhelmed, and the situation on the ground is heartbreaking. After a dangerous journey, many children are living in overcrowded conditions with uncertain futures and without parents or loved ones to care for them. Beyond the humanitarian crisis, the lack of border security is a criminal one, threatening the safety of American citizens. The CBP reports a 233% increase in the seizure of fentanyl compared to January last year, exacerbating the nation’s opioid epidemic. Law enforcement officials are recovering drugs, illegal narcotics, and weapons being smuggled across the border by cartels—the same cartels that are also trafficking men, women, and children and jeopardizing their lives. 

At a time when our country is trying to recover from a once-in-a-generation pandemic, the last thing we need is a self-created crisis that exploits families, undermines public safety, and threatens our national security. We urge you to take action to end the humanitarian crisis and secure our southern border immediately. 

Sincerely, 

Governor Bill Lee
State of Tennessee 

Governor Kay Ivey
State of Alabama

Governor Doug Ducey
State of Arizona

Governor Asa Hutchinson
State of Arkansas

Governor Brian Kemp
State of Georgia

Governor Brad Little
State of Idaho

Governor Eric Holcomb
State of Indiana 

Governor Kim Reynolds
State of Iowa

Governor Tate Reeves
State of Mississippi

Governor Mike Parson
State of Missouri 

Governor Greg Gianforte
State of Montana

Governor Pete Ricketts
State of Nebraska 

Governor Chris Sununu
State of New Hampshire

Governor Doug Burgum
State of North Dakota

Governor Kevin Stitt
State of Oklahoma

Governor Henry McMaster
State of South Carolina 

Governor Kristi Noem
State of South Dakota 

Governor Greg Abbott
State of Texas

Governor Spencer Cox
State of Utah

Governor Mark Gordon
State of Wyoming

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