Gordon Joins Republican States in Border Strike Force
On Tuesday, Governor Mark Gordon joined 25 other Republican governors in forming the American Governor's Border Strike Force to help address what they believe to be inaction by President Joe Biden at the southern border.
After joining the strike force, Gordon posted to his Facebook page "Today I have joined 25 of my fellow Governors in forming the American Governors’ Border Strike Force. Wyoming will continue to offer support to our southern border while the Biden Administration sits idly by and fails to take action on this crisis."
Besides Wyoming, the other states involved in the strike force include Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennesse, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Besides governors Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Phil Scott of Vermont, all other Republican governors have joined the strike force.
Based on a joint memorandum of understanding signed by Gordon, the different states involved would share data and resources between states, and possibly officers, to help address the increase in border crossings.
According to the memorandum, each state will appoint its top law enforcement executive who will put together "interstate mutual aid plans and procedures necessary to implement this agreement."
Alex Kuehler, Western Communications Director for the Republican National Committee, said that because the strike force was just formed, there hasn't been any action taken yet, but he believes it will happen at some point in the future.
Kuehler said in an email announcing the strike force:
"With the American Governors' Border Strike Force, Republican governors including Governor Gordon are doing what failing Democrats won’t do: protecting our nation from the criminals, gangs, drug smugglers, human traffickers, and even terrorists streaming across the border. Supporting solutions to stop Biden's border crisis is going to be a litmus test for every candidate this year."
In 2022, there have been 1,060,954 encounters by border patrol officers at the U.S. southern border, with over half of those expelled due to Title 42, that's compared to 570,826 encounters at the same point in 2021 and 236,079 in 2020.
While Gordon and the border strike force have placed the blame squarely on Biden for what is happening at the border, the increase in border crossings is also due to a variety of factors, including poor conditions in countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, and Honduras, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, food instability, and natural disasters.
Another factor in the large increase in border crossings is due in part to Title 42, which allows border agents to immediately expel people that they encounter at the border.
However, those people that get expelled under Title 42 may make repeat attempts, inflating the number of apprehensions.
In the fiscal year of 2019, the recidivism rate for people crossing the border was 7%, meaning 7% of people were encountered more than once by border patrol.
In 2020, that number jumped up to 26%, and in 2021 and so far in 2022 is up to 27%, compared to 14% in 2015 and 12% in 2016.