A coalition of nine Democratic state governors, led by Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York, sent a letter to the Biden Administration and congressional leaders Monday calling for federal action to be taken to secure the Southern border.
“As Governors representing over 100 million Americans, we write to call on Washington to work together to solve what has become a humanitarian crisis,” the governors of New York, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New Mexico wrote.
“The sustained arrival of individuals seeking asylum and requiring shelter and assistance, due to lack of Congressional action on infrastructure and policies, can only be addressed with federal organizational support and funding to meet the public safety and humanitarian needs of our local communities,” the letter continues.
The coalition of governors urged the White House and Congress to negotiate a border security package to fund increased border security, add staff to accelerate migrant processing times and eligibility determinations, and increase removal proceedings for migrants who are ineligible to stay in the U.S.
Additionally, the Democratic governors called for federal funding for both border and interior states, as well as cities receiving migrants, which “are bearing the brunt of the shortcomings of the existing immigration system.”
“States and cities have spent billions to address inaction by Congress and match these challenges with solutions for our state and local economies,” the governors wrote. “However, it is clear our national immigration system is outdated and unprepared to
respond to this unprecedented global migration. Without serious reform informed by evidence-based solutions, the challenges facing states and localities will only grow.”
The Democratic governors’ letter comes after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recorded more than 2.3 million migrant encounters at the Southwest border and more than 3.2 million encounters nationwide in fiscal year 2023 (FY23).
CBP also recorded the seizure of nearly 27,000 pounds of fentanyl at the Southwest border in FY23.
A Harvard CAPS-Harris poll released Monday showed that more voters — 35 percent –rank immigration as their top policy concern over inflation — 32 percent.
The number of respondents that ranked immigration as their top concern in January jumped 7 percentage points over the previous month’s poll.