More than two dozen Republican governors have created the American Governors’ Border Strike Force, which aims to “dismantle and disrupt” transnational criminal organizations that exploit the “chaos” Joe Biden has caused on the southern border. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) and Greg Abbott (R-TX) are co-chairing this new strike force.
As Julio has observed and reported from the US-Mexico border, the Border Strike Force is committed to addressing criminal enterprises that “flood our neighborhoods with drugs while reaping billions of dollars from human smuggling, causing a record amount of arrests at the Southern Border.”
“A significant increase in illegal immigrants” has resulted in “more drugs entering the country, more dangerous people evading arrest, and more victims of human trafficking,” according to members of the new Border Strike Force. As a result, “criminal organizations on both sides of the border are making money off of illegal immigrants through trafficking and extortion.”
The solution for the GOP governors, according to a group memo of understanding they released, is to increase cooperation, improve intelligence, invest in fighting human smuggling, and prevent drugs from flowing into their states.
“By collaborating across state lines, governors may be a force multiplier in targeting cartels and criminal networks both financially and operationally,” the document states. “Governors will improve public safety, protect victims from horrible crimes, reduce the amount of drugs in our communities, and alleviate the humanitarian crisis on the Southern Border when they work together.”
On the heels of a report that 23 illegal immigrants were identified in the Terrorist Screening Database, the Border Strike Force arrives as Customs and Border Protection reports that FY 2021 saw more than 5,400 pounds of heroin, 97,000 pounds of cocaine, 190,000 pounds of methamphetamine, and 11,200 pounds of fentanyl intercepted at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Furthermore, as the governors’ letter explains, “transnational criminal networks are presently recruiting American teenagers and young adults to participate in their unlawful activities.”
“We urge the federal government to take immediate action to prevent drug and human traffickers from crossing our border, as well as the high-speed rail projects in Texas,” according to the letter. “After years of inaction by the Biden administration, we have no choice but to act.”