LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) - Gov. Pete Ricketts, Gov. Kim Reynolds and 19 other Republican governors have signed a letter to the Biden-Harris administration, urging them to take action to enforce immigration laws and strengthen the country’s southern border.
The letter cites data from the Customs and Border Patrol which indicates a “staggering surge” in recent crossings. That data said there were “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.”
In a story for E.W. Scripps, KMTV's parent company, reporter Elizabeth Ruiz spoke with immigration experts who explained the increase in migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. The explanations include a backlog at the border due to COVID-19, multiple hurricanes and high levels of violence in Central American countries.
“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,” wrote the governors. “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."
The governors said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services called upon many of their states to identify potential housing locations for migrants. In addition, the governors said, "the Department circumvented our states altogether by asking private organizations and nonprofits to house unaccompanied migrant children. Often these facilities lack adequate security."
They went onto say, "The crisis is too big to ignore and is now spilling over the border states into all of our states."