Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and 25 other governors launched the American Governors’ Border Strike Force this week.
It’s a multi-state partnership that will strive to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.
The news comes a day after U.S. Customs and Border Protection revealed that migrant crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border are at their highest levels in two decades.
The American Governors’ Border Strike Force after the Arizona Border Strike Force. Since its creation in 2015, the Arizona Border Strike Force has seized 985 pounds of fentanyl, 13,100 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,704 pounds of cocaine, and 801 pounds of heroin.
“What we’re doing in Arizona works,” Ducey said in a press release. “But this is not just an Arizona issue, it’s a national issue. If our entire southern border isn’t secure, our nation isn’t secure. As dangerous transnational criminal organizations continue to profit from holes in the border and fill our communities with drugs, it’s no coincidence that we’re seeing historic levels of opioid-related deaths. The American Governors’ Border Strike Force will serve as a force multiplier in the fight against criminal activity directly tied to our border. My thanks to my fellow governors who saw the problem and chose to be part of the solution.”
The collaboration aims to secure the southern border by sharing intelligence, improving cybersecurity, and working to better protect children and families.
Other than Arizona, the following states will participate in the partnership: Texas, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
In recent conversations, Arizona Border Patrol has told Gov. Ducey that there is a need for greater analytical and cyber assistance.
“Criminal organizations know how to exploit the crisis at the border, and are using it to flood massive quantities of fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine into our country,” Tim Roemer, Arizona Department of Homeland Security Director and the state’s Chief Information Security Officer, said in the press release. “The Biden administration’s failed border policies have created a homeland security and humanitarian crisis – and every state in the country is paying the price. The American Governors’ Border Strike Force will increase collaboration and intelligence sharing across state lines so we can work together to keep illegal drugs out of our towns and cities.”
The states hope to combat transnational criminal organizations and drug and human trafficking crimes both financially and operationally.
Transnational criminal organizations made about $3 billion in 2021 from human smuggling alone in Arizona.
This comes when President Joe Biden’s administration is planning to axe Title 42. It’s a policy that allows for the expulsion of migrants at the border who have been in a country where infectious disease is present, including coronavirus.