(The Center Square) – Twenty-four Republican governors said illegal immigration is a burden on every state and asked President Joe Biden for “honest” and “accurate” information on the situation.
A letter sent Tuesday blames Biden’s policies for an increase in illegal crossings at the southern border.
“States are on the front lines, working around the clock to respond to the effects of this crisis: shelters are full, pantries empty, law enforcement strained, and aid workers exhausted,” says the letter. “As governors, we ask you to provide honest, accurate, and detailed information about where migrants admitted at the southern border are being relocated to the United States, in addition to comprehensive data on asylum application deadlines and qualification rates, as well as successful expulsions. We are requesting this information immediately, but also regularly as the crisis at the southern border continues.”
The influx of illegal immigrants places a financial burden on states, governors said.
“Analysts estimate that the net annual cost of illegal immigration to the United States at the federal, state, and local levels is at least $150.7 billion,” the letter said. “States are obligated to provide financial, educational, and medical assistance to migrants entering our country illegally – assistance whose costs are skyrocketing due to record inflation and the unprecedented influx of migrants into our states. “
Governors said more than 5.8 million people have crossed the southern border illegally. The problem has also worsened at the northern border, where illegal immigration has increased by 850% in some cases, according to the letter. The situation now constitutes a public safety concern since 244 people who crossed the border were on the terrorist watch list, they said.
A contact within U.S. Customs and Border Protection regularly provided The central square with unpublished data classified as “escapers”, that is, people who enter illegally but do not file asylum or immigration applications. These are most often men of military age, according to the source, who have remained anonymous for fear of professional reprisals. Of the 8.6 million people who have entered the United States illegally, 1.6 million are on the run.
“In the absence of transparency from your administration, we cannot know how many terrorists have evaded capture and are now moving freely throughout the country,” the letter said. “Your administration has admitted under oath to Congress that cartels prioritize the southern border as a major corridor and exploit it daily for human and drug trafficking.”
The issue of illegal immigration also affects their fellow Democrats, the governors said. Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey called illegal immigration a “federal crisis of inaction that has been years in the making.” earlier this month by calling on the Department of Homeland Security to relax the work authorization process.
New York City will welcome more than 2,000 migrants at the same time New York Airfield after a deal was reached last week with the Biden administration. Mayor Eric Adams describes the situation as a “financial tsunami” that will destroy the city if it doesn’t get more help from the state or federal government.
The letter is signed by the governors of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri , Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming .