May 11, 2021
PIERRE, SD – Today, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, along with 19 governors, called on President Biden and Vice President Harris to take immediate action on the crisis at the southern border.
“The crisis is too big to ignore and is now spilling over the border states into all of our states,” wrote Governor Noem and the other governors. “The cause of the border crisis is entirely due to reckless federal policy reversals executed within your first 100 days in office. The rhetoric of the Biden Administration and the rollback of critical agreements with our allies have led to the inhumane treatment of tens of thousands of children and undermined a fragile immigration system.”
The governors pointed to a “staggering surge in recent crossings.” Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reported that March border encounters were 172,000, the highest number in nearly 20 years. And CBP encountered 18,890 unaccompanied children in March, the largest monthly number in history.
The border crisis has also exacerbated the opioid epidemic, a problem that Governor Noem has prioritized fixing. CBP reports a 233% increase in the seizure of fentanyl compared to January last year. “Law enforcement officials are recovering drugs, illegal narcotics, and weapons being smuggled across the border by cartels—the same cartels that are also trafficking men, women, and children and jeopardizing their lives,” wrote the governors.
Governor Noem recently announced that South Dakota “won’t be taking any illegal immigrants that the Biden administration wants to relocate.” The governors echoed this sentiment, writing “We have neither the resources nor the obligation to solve the federal government’s problem and foot the bill for the consequences of this Administration’s misguided actions.”
“We urge you to take action to end the humanitarian crisis and secure our southern border immediately,” concluded the governors.
Along with Governor Noem, the letter was signed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Idaho Governor Brad Little, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, Missouri Governor Greg Parsons, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Utah Governor Spencer Cox, and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.