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Arizona Gov. Ducey visits Texas border, joins other GOP leaders to outline security plan

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Arizona Gov. Ducey visits Texas border, joins other GOP leaders to outline security plan

  • Ross D. Franklin/AP/pool photo

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and nine other Republican governors met on the Texas border Wednesday to outline a 10-point border security plan to fight what they called the "border crisis."

The gathering at the border followed what Ducey said was "16 days of silence from President Biden to a meeting requested by 26 U.S. governors, to find meaningful solutions to the worst border crisis in more than two decades."

Also at the meeting led by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott were Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Idaho Governor Brad Little, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott announced an interstate compact with Ducey in June to resolve the border "crisis, " and Ducey has since said, “The White House has suggested there are no solutions or steps they could take on the border. This is false.”

The governors' border plan includes:

  • continue Title 42 public health restrictions;
  • dedicate federal resources to eradicate human trafficking and drug trafficking;
  • resume the deportation of all criminals;
  • re-enter all agreements with Northern Triangle partners and Mexico;
  • provide notice and transparency to states on unaccompanied minors and migrants;
  • send a clear message to potential migrants;
  • deploy more federal law enforcement officers and National Guard troops;
  • end “catch and release” and clear the judicial backlog;
  • fully reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols;
  • finish securing the border.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has repeatedly stated the border "is closed," and the Biden administration has continued to enforce Title 42. This year, roughly 952,000 people were processed under Title 42, and of those around 108,000 or about 11 percent were families. In August, Customs and Border Protection figures show that 91,147 people were expelled under Title 42.

In the Tucson Sector, around 136,000 people have been expelled under Title 42. Of those about 7,000 were families, and another 1,000 were unaccompanied minors traveling without parents or guardians.

In August, Tucson Sector agents expelled 13,000 people under Title 42, including 901 families, according to CBP statistics.

Last week, Mayorkas issued new enforcement guidelines, stating the majority of the estimated 11 million paperless immigrants in the U.S. will not be targeted for deportation in order to focus resources on the removal of threats to public safety.  The department plans to use a "case-by-case assessment of whether an individual poses a threat," recognizing that many undocumented immigrants are also frontline workers and community leaders.

Under a new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services policy, immigrants seeking permanent residency are now required to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. The is in addition to all previously required vaccinations.

CBP agents are seeing large groups of migrants—mostly children—in Arizona. Border Patrol Agent Alan Regalado, a spokesman for the Tucson Sector, said that agents have found several groups in the area for the last couple of months. People are crossing the border at San Miguel, and near Sasabe, Arizona where there are several large gaps in the wall.

Driven by multiple attempts to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, the overall number of "encounters" tracked by U.S. Customs and Border Protection has risen to more than 1.5 million this fiscal year, even as the number of individual people crossing this year declined from 2019.

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