(The Center Square) – A coalition of state attorneys general sent a letter Monday to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas backing Texas in its border battle with the Biden administration.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defied the Biden administration last week, making clear he would continue to put up concertina wire fencing at the southern border to help stop the flow of illegal immigration, which has soared since Biden took office.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the issue last week, saying federal agents could continue to remove the concertina wire, but the ruling did not prohibit Texas from installing the border defenses. Abbott said after the ruling that the federal government had broken its pact with the states for not stopping what more than 50 Texas counties have declared an “invasion.”
That court case is the latest touchpoint for the ongoing immigration crisis and frustration of many border states and Republicans who argue Biden is willfully aiding millions of illegal immigrants get into the U.S.
“Since the Biden Administration has failed to do its job and secure the border, states like Texas have stepped up to protect their citizens,” the letter said. “A federal district court found that Texas’s border defense wires reduced illegal border crossings by more than two-thirds. Those barriers protect not just Texans from millions of illegal border crossings, but the rest of the nation.”
More than 10 million illegal immigrants have entered the U.S. since Biden took office, more than the population of about 40 U.S. states.
An impeachment effort is underway in the House for Mayorkas, the recipient of this letter, over similar concerns about the lack of border enforcement and Mayorkas policies.
The Biden administration has blamed Republicans, saying they have not passed the needed funding to secure the border. Republicans have pushed back, saying Biden’s changes to things like asylum policies have turned border agents into a processing and entry program instead of deterrence.
The Monday letter sided with Texas and said states “have an independent duty to defend against invasion.”
The letter was signed by attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The leadership of the Arizona state legislature signed as well.
Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes co-led the effort.
“The invasion on our southern border has made every state a border state,” Bird said in a statement. “While the Biden Administration has opened the door wide for drug cartels, traffickers, and potential terrorists to cross our border, States have been left to fend for themselves. If the Biden Administration won’t do its job to secure our border and keep Americans safe, it should step aside to let the States do the job for them. Iowa proudly stands with Texas in this fight.”
Notably, Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, introduced the “State Border Security Act” last week, which would block federal agents from “dismantling, removing, destroying” border barriers installed by states.