Republican governors gathered in Texas over the weekend in a show of force behind Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to secure the southern border.
Over a dozen GOP leaders descended on Shelby Park in Eagle Pass in support of Abbott’s showdown with the Biden administration over immigration enforcement in the state.
“Republican governors are stepping up,” Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders told “America’s Newsroom” Monday following the trip. “Texas is leading the charge. They own 66% of our country’s border, and they are putting the needed resources on the border to help protect our country. And other governors are coming in and helping backfill with those resources and efforts. And we’re going to continue to do that because our country cannot be safe if we don’t have a secure border.”
LARGE MAJORITY OF ILLEGAL BORDER CROSSINGS SHIFT TO ARIZONA AND CALIFORNIA, PIVOTING AWAY FROM TEXAS
Sanders, who said her state has seized enough fentanyl to kill nearly the entire population of the state, plans to deploy more resources and Arkansas National Guard troops to the Texas border this year.
The governor pointed the finger at President Biden for “refusing” to use his power to help secure the country and accused him of passing the blame and responsibility off on Congress.
“He could right now reinstate the Remain in Mexico policy, continue the building of the border wall and actually enforce the laws that are on our books, which would help secure our border. He has the ability to do that. He simply refuses to do so,” she said.
Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry, who was also in Texas, said the illegal immigration crisis has made his state less safe as well.
“Most of the problem centers around those that come into the country to, to basically conduct criminal activity,” he told “Fox & Friends” Monday. “We know that a large portion of those that are coming in are conducting criminal activity. Fentanyl is pouring across the border. It’s affecting all of our communities.”
Landry said he is working with legislative leadership in his state to send funding and National Guard troops “do the job that President Biden and the Democrats are responsible for doing.”
“What they’ve done is basically blow a hole in the border or just said anybody can come in, and they’re not even screening who’s coming in,” he said.
The hot spot of Eagle Pass is where Texas has been locked in a power struggle with the Biden administration for the past month after the state began denying access to U.S. Border Patrol agents at Shelby Park.
Crossings in recent weeks are down overall along the entire U.S. border, including areas without such a heavy security presence.
Tucson, Arizona, which has been the busiest of nine Border Patrol sectors on the Mexican border, tallied 13,800 arrests in the weeklong period that ended Friday. That is down 29% from a peak of 19,400 in week ended Dec. 22, according to John Modlin, the sector chief.
The number of crossings in Eagle Pass has recently fallen to a few hundred a day. Texas closed access to federal agents at Shelby Park after the number of crossings decreased sharply at the end of December. Mike Banks, who Abbott appointed last year to oversee Texas’ border operations, described the park as a “magnet” for migrants trying to enter the country.
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