Iowa is joining hands with 25 other Republican-led states to form the “American Governors Border Strike Force.”
The strike force will increase collaboration between the 26 states to share intelligence and coordinate on tackling interstate drug smuggling and human trafficking. Participating states have also agreed to send law enforcement officials to border states to assist in detecting and preventing border-related crime.
Involvement in the Border Strike Force is the most recent of numerous initiatives Gov. Kim Reynolds has undertaken in response to a worsening border crisis under President Joe Biden. In July 2021, Reynolds deployed over two dozen Iowa State Patrol troopers to assist Texas law enforcement. Months later, in October 2021, Reynolds joined eight other GOP governors at the southern border in Texas to slam Biden’s handling of border security.
Republican officials have hailed Reynolds’ support for the Border Strike Force while slamming Democrats for creating and then neglecting a border crisis that has necessitated the unique multi-state initiative.
“With the American Governors’ Border Strike Force, Republican governors, including Governor Kim Reynolds, are doing what failing Democrats Joe Biden and Cindy Axne won’t do: protecting our nation from the criminals, gangs, drug smugglers, human traffickers, and even terrorists streaming across the border,” Republican National Committee spokesman Kush Desai said in a statement.
The announcement of the strike force’s formation comes on the heels of recent Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) data showing nearly 210,000 illegal border crossers were arrested by authorities in March 2022. This reflects a 24 percent increase from March 2021, and is the highest monthly total on record since February 2000.
The sheer quantity of illegal border crossings is being matched by record seizures of illegal and deadly drugs such as fentanyl and methamphetamine. Border officials have also arrested numerous registered sex offenders – including pedophile abusers – and over 40 individuals on terrorist databases since Biden took office in January 2021. At the same time, the Biden administration has resumed charter flights of migrant children from the border to destinations across the country.
While border crossings and seizures of deadly drugs have broken numerous records since Biden took office, officials warn that Biden’s administration is set to worsen the situation by revoking Title 42, a Trump-era public health order that allowed border officials to turn away illegal migrants.
Iowa’s lone Democrat member of Congress, Cindy Axne, recently defended the decision in an interview saying, “when you’re in a pandemic or any other specific issue that your country is facing, the federal government has authority to put pieces in place to protect you. When that ends, you’re supposed to take those pieces out.”
Republicans view Democrats’ border record as a critical political issue ahead of midterm elections in November.
“Supporting solutions to stop Biden’s border crisis will be a litmus test for every candidate this year,” RNC spokesman Desai noted.