Ducey, Abbott and other GOP governors join Border Strike Force to combat illegal activity at southern border

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Republican governors from across America are taking matters into their own hands to address the border crisis that continues to plague communities throughout the nation under President Biden’s administration.

A majority of America’s governors have agreed to work together to combat criminal activity stemming from the border in an effort dubbed the American Governors’ Border Strike Force. As part of the initiative, 26 governors plan to work without the federal government to counteract the unprecedented surge in illegal drugs and smuggling that have cause harm to American communities.


Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who spoke to Fox News Digital in an interview on Wednesday and is a leading member of the effort, said what’s taking place now is “the worst border crisis in the last 50 years, and it’s only going to get worse when they lift Title 42.”

Ducey, Abbott and other GOP governors join Border Strike Force to combat illegal activity at southern border

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey holds a rountable discussion with border patrol officers and other Arizona officials.
(U.S. Border Patrol Tucson Sector)

Modeled after his 2015 effort known as the Arizona Border Strike Force, Ducey said the governors will work together “to share information [and] law enforcement assets so that we can track down cartels and drug activity to not only put the bad guys behind bars, but to eliminate and reduce the number of overdose deaths that are happening in our schools, neighborhoods, and cities.”

“As governors, we’re doing everything we can,” Ducey said. “This is the federal government’s responsibility. Our people in southern Arizona are absolutely overwhelmed, as are the federal government’s Customs and Border Protection, law enforcement agents, along with the border patrol. We need support from the federal government, but they’re averting their gaze. They’ve got an open borders policy and all of our states are paying for this, specifically our border states.”

Ducey, a longtime advocate for the restoration of law and order at America’s southern border, said the “terrible poison” traveling throughout America is a result of the Biden administration putting the “drug cartels in charge of their border policy.”

Ducey, Abbott and other GOP governors join Border Strike Force to combat illegal activity at southern border

Migrants seeking asylum board a U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicle to be transferred to temporary shelter in Yuma, Arizona, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022.
( Nicolo Filippo Rosso/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“Every state is a border state right now,” he said. “These drugs may come across the southern border and affect Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and California, but these overdoses are happening in places like Omaha, Indianapolis, and Toledo, Ohio. Every governor that cares about kids and young people — and the rule of law — cares about enforcement on our border.”

Ducey said the cartels are “using the human smuggling component of a broken border to distract good men and women doing the best that they can — even with the support of the National Guard at the state level — to bring these drugs over in mass and to sell them in our neighborhoods.”

Referencing a 10-point plan to help solve the border crisis that was introduced by Republican governors last fall, Ducey reiterated that Biden has failed to take action. “These were the policies that were in place when he came into office,” he said.

“Under the Trump/Pence administration, in many ways, the border situation was solved,” Ducey said. “Joe Biden overturned every one of them willy nilly … all of those things want to reduce the border surges.”


“Joe Biden has announced that our border is open,” he added. “He’s offered free healthcare in the first Democratic primary debate to people that break the law and his federal prosecutors have a catch and release policy. All of this combined has added up to the worst border crisis in the last 50 years and it’s only going to get worse when they lift Title 42.”

Ducey, Abbott and other GOP governors join Border Strike Force to combat illegal activity at southern border

President Joe Biden
(Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Echoing his remarks, several of Ducey’s counterparts from across the country told Fox News Digital of the importance of the newly announced initiative and took aim at the Biden administration for its failure to secure America’s porous southern border.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the Biden administration’s “open border policies have created an ongoing crisis along our southern border and across our nation, with over 1,000 Texans dying from fentanyl last year and a spread of fentanyl deaths throughout the country.”

“Twenty-five of my fellow governors signed this agreement because it’s clear that this border crisis has significant impacts into communities beyond border states like Texas,” Abbott said. “Through this multi-state agreement, our states will be working collaboratively to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations by increasing collaboration, improving intelligence, investing in analysis, combating human smuggling, and stopping drug flow in our states and our nation. While the Biden Administration turns a blind eye to the suffering of Americans, Republican governors are leading the way in solving border problems.”

“President Biden has failed to secure the border, and it has deteriorated into a warzone that is threatening all of our communities,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said. “South Dakota has sent National Guard to the border. Republican Governors are launching a Border Strike Force to secure our communities and partner together to protect our people.”

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said the “open southern border is a national crisis.”

Ducey, Abbott and other GOP governors join Border Strike Force to combat illegal activity at southern border

Gov. Tate Reeves speaks in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

“President Biden needs to lead, follow, or get out of the way,” he said. “He has utterly refused to lead in securing our border, so governors are stepping up. We are going to protect the jobs, safety, and integrity of our country from the chaos that has been allowed to go unchecked at the border.”

“The crisis at our Southern Border is truly a national emergency, especially as the Biden-Harris Administration has made clear they are ending Title 42,” said Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. “This Biden crisis affects every single state, including Alabama, and where this a total absence of leadership from the White House, us Republican governors are stepping up in full force.”

“I think we have no other option at this point, because the White House could not be more hard-headed on this issue,” she added.

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon also slammed the Biden administration over its failure to act following the 10-point proposal offered by Republicans last October.

“Last fall I joined my colleagues at the Southern Border and we presented a 10-point plan that the Biden Administration could act on,” Gordon stated. “The administration took no action. The Governors also requested a meeting with the President, a meeting that was never granted.”


“Over half the nation’s Governors are now working together to solve a problem that the Biden Administration refuses to address,” he said. “Our Constitution requires a secure border, and it is the absence of federal action on this issue that has forced states to act. Wyoming will continue to offer support to our southern border while the Biden Administration sits idly by and fails to take action on this crisis.”

Similarly, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said concerns from his state over conditions stemming from the unsecured border “have been ignored.”

“The Biden administration has failed to secure our nation’s Southern Border, allowing millions of migrants and hundreds of thousands of pounds of illegal drugs to pour into the United States,” Parson said. “Time and time again, Governors have tried to work with the White House to discuss real solutions to secure the border. Instead, our concerns have been ignored, crime is out of control, and illegal drugs continue to infect our communities and harm our kids.”

“Governors are stepping up once again to do what the federal government refuses to do: secure our communities and protect our citizens,” he said. “The crisis at our Southern Border is out of control. In the absence of federal leadership, we will do what is required to help solve this growing problem and protect the people of Missouri.”

Idaho Gov. Brad Little, speaking in an interview with Fox News Digital on Thursday, said the inaction from the Biden administration to secure the border is “like night and day” compared to efforts from the Trump administration.

Ducey, Abbott and other GOP governors join Border Strike Force to combat illegal activity at southern border

Idaho Gov. Brad Little at a March 2020 news conference.
(Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

“The Biden administration’s own people are recognizing the problem,” Little said, noting the large amounts of drugs coming into America. “It’s all coming through Mexico by the cartel and it’s that loose border that’s causing it to happen. And you see it. You see Democratic senators, congressman, all saying ‘We got a problem at the border’ and we’re up here in Idaho, and we see it every day. … There’s no question about it.”

“The more people that come across the border, that is cover that the cartels are using to either do human trafficking or drug smuggling around the side,” Little said. “You see it on t.v., they’ll say, ‘Here’s a whole bunch of people’ and all the border patrol run to pick up these people. All they’re doing is basically giving them a pass to come into this country, maybe se a judge in three or four years. It’s making a mockery of what we’re doing with legal immigration, and it’s killing our people with this poison, these fentanyl pills.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the issue surrounding illegal and deadly drugs flowing into America from across the southern border is “not just an Ohio problem, or an Arizona problem, or a Texas problem.”

Ducey, Abbott and other GOP governors join Border Strike Force to combat illegal activity at southern border

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tours the southern border during a trip to Texas in 2021.
(Office of Gov. Mike DeWine)

“It affects every American community,” DeWine said. “This strike force will be a ‘force multiplier,’ combining resources to target cartels and stop criminal networks from distributing these deadly poisons across the United States. I am proud that Ohio is part of this important battle.”

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said the effort will help keep Americans safe and “increase collaboration” among the states.

“The crisis at the southern border affects all 50 states,” Sununu said. “The drugs that flow into New Hampshire are coming directly from the southern border, and this strike force will increase collaboration and information sharing between the states, helping keep our citizens safe.”

Likewise, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox insisted the effort will improve communication and coordination efforts associated with the complications that stem from the border.

“As governors, we’ve communicated loud and clear to President Biden that we must secure the southern border,” Cox said. “This strike force will help us better coordinate intelligence with other states about the drug trafficking, human trafficking and illegal entry that is seeping into our state and threatens public safety.”

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte said the administration’s “head-in-the-sand approach to the crisis at the southern border” is fatal to the lives of residents in his state.

Ducey, Abbott and other GOP governors join Border Strike Force to combat illegal activity at southern border

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte receives a briefing on the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border in October 2021 during a trip to Mission, Texas.
(Office of Gov. Gianforte)

“Montanans are dying while drug cartels are profiting,” he said. “Open borders have led to the seizure of more fentanyl in Montana in 2022 than all of last year. Absent leadership from the Biden White House, governors are working together through the American Governors’ Border Strike Force to go after cartels and stop the flow of illegal drugs and crime into our communities.”

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said that he, along with other governors, has witnessed “firsthand the desperate need for more resources and better coordination to secure the southern border, due to the Biden administration’s failure to address this humanitarian crisis and its growing threat to our national security.”

“If the president and vice president won’t fix the problem — or even visit the border to see it for themselves — then as governors we must coordinate resources and training, share intelligence information and enforce our criminal laws to stem the tide of illegal immigration and protect our citizens from drug trafficking, human trafficking and other border-related crime,” Burgum said.

Carly Atchison, communications director for Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, told Fox News Digital that the governor “saw firsthand the destructive consequences the Biden administration’s open border policy has created for all fifty states.”


“Having an open southern border is a threat to our national security and the rise in fentanyl and methamphetamine deaths in Oklahoma is directly related to the lack of border security,” Atchison said. “While Joe Biden ignores reality, illegal drugs are pouring in over the southern border and killing Oklahomans.”

Brian Symmes, communication’s director for South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, said in a statement to Fox News Digital: “In light of the crime wave that has come from the Biden administration’s failure to secure the southern border, Governor McMaster has joined his colleagues in this effort to do what the federal government apparently refuses to do — protect our people.”

Other governors, including Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, have expressed their optimism from the coordinated Border Strike Force effort.

Ducey, Abbott and other GOP governors join Border Strike Force to combat illegal activity at southern border

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during a news conference at Iowa Spring Manufacturing, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Adel, Iowa.
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

“We can’t stand idle while President Biden does nothing to stop the crisis at our border, which is having devastating effects on every state,” Reynolds said in a statement released Thursday. “President Biden’s disastrous border policies and lack of leadership are destroying our country. Fentanyl and other major drugs are becoming increasingly prevalent in our communities, so we must step up and protect our states, our families, our children, and our country that we’ve worked so hard to keep safe.”


“The effects of the Biden-created Border Crisis are being felt in West Virginia with the dramatic influx of fentanyl and other dangerous drugs that are coming into our state and killing our people,” Justice said in a recent statement. “Working together, we will share intelligence and resources to do what our federal government under President Biden is failing to do: secure our southern border. We will disrupt and dismantle cartels, and we will combat human and drug trafficking.”

Earlier this month, the Biden administration said it would end Title 42 on May 23. The policy, used since March 2020, provides the ability for American officials to bar migrants from entering the country during a health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.


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