By Coy Knobel, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming Republican leaders are understanding of recent actions taken by Texas, Florida and Arizona to send migrants to “progressive” Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago and Martha’s Vineyard.
Texas, Arizona and Florida governors have complained that President Joe Biden’s immigration policies have allowed millions of people to illegally pour across the southern U.S. border, severely negatively impacting their states. Earlier this year, the governors began and have continued to transport some of the migrants north to cities led by Democrats.
Wyoming Republicans Gov. Mark Gordon and U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis told Cowboy State Daily that the Biden Administration’s “open border” is a doorway into the country for drugs and criminals. The governor’s office said the Biden border policy failure makes Wyoming and “all states border states.”
The Wyoming leaders said they could see why the Texas, Arizona and Florida governors were taking these actions.
Barrasso went to the Texas-Mexico border in July to see the situation for himself. He said Texas, Florida and Arizona are giving Biden and his supporters a taste of their own medicine.
“Joe Biden and the radical Democrats have rolled out the red carpet for criminals, drug dealers and gangs with their open border policies,” Barrasso said in a statement to Cowboy State Daily. “Now, the coastal elite are seeing firsthand the consequences of these dangerous policies in their communities – and they clearly don’t like it.”
Biden Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a recent White House briefing that the Republican governors used the migrants the governors transported as “political pawns … in a cruel, premeditated political stunt.”
“These are the kinds of tactics we see from smugglers in places like Mexico and Guatemala. And for what? A photo op? Because these governors care (more) about creating political theater than creating actual solutions to help folks who are fleeing communism, to help children, to help families,” she said.
Drug Smuggling Impacts Wyoming
Gordon visited the U.S. southern border in Texas in October and his spokesman told Cowboy State Daily this week that Gordon saw firsthand the negative impacts of border crossings. He said the impacts continue to affect Wyoming today.
“The most direct impact of the failed border policy here in Wyoming is in illegal narcotic smuggling, particularly fentanyl,” said Michael Pearlman, Gordon’s communications director.
He said there is general agreement from law enforcement that large quantities of fentanyl are being smuggled across the Mexican border.
“I-80 is a trafficking corridor, and fentanyl impacts are being felt in Wyoming communities,” Pearlman said in an email to Cowboy State Daily. “States such as Arizona and Texas are rightfully frustrated for being forced to commit significant state resources to address a problem that is a direct result of the federal government neglecting its constitutional duty. Governor Gordon recognizes the burdens governors of these states face.”
Border Busing From Red to Blue
This spring, Texas, under the direction of Republican Gov. Greg Abbot, began busing some migrants to Washington, D.C. Abbot also has sent other buses of migrants to Chicago and New York City. Doug Ducey, Arizona’s Republican governor, authorized transporting migrants from his state to Washington, D.C. Recently, the office of Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis chartered two airplanes and sent migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, an affluent Massachusetts island.
The Hill Newspaper reports that about 13,000 migrants have been transported in these ways with Washington, D.C., getting the most at 10,000 and Martha’s Vineyard the least with about 50.
Lummis said U.S. Customs and Border Protection has apprehended more than 2 million migrants this year with thousands more arriving every day at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Those that live in more progressive states have expressed outrage at the transportation of migrants to places like Washington D.C. and Martha’s Vineyard, however the Biden administration has been moving migrants around the country for months, often in the dead of night, and yet we have seen no liberal ire in those cases,” Lummis said in a statement to Cowboy State Daily.
She said because of the Biden Administration’s “catch-and-release strategy” we don’t know how many of these “illegal aliens are currently living in our state.” Lummis also complained about “record-breaking amounts of illegal drugs, including fentanyl … being transported into our country daily.”
“Wyoming law enforcement seized thousands of doses of fentanyl in 2022 alone,” Lummis said.
New Migration Challenge
Jean-Pierre said migration from Mexico and northern Central America has declined for three consecutive months, but migration from Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba has increased.
“Falling authoritarian regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba are causing a new migration challenge across the Western Hemisphere,” she said.
Jean-Pierre said not all the people coming into the U.S. through its southern border stay in the country.
“Not everyone who arrives at the border gets to stay. There is a process in place that we have been moving forward with,” Jean-Pierre said. “DHS (Department of Homeland Security) continues to expel migrants as required by court order under CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Title 42. And so — and those who cannot be expelled under Title 42 are screened and processed to have their claims for relief heard by an immigration judge in removal proceedings.”
In April, Wyoming joined a lawsuit filed by more than 20 states challenging the Biden administration’s revocation of Title 42 border control measures.
“These Trump-era border policies helped reduce the flow of illegal immigration at the United States-Mexico border,” an April 14 Gordon news release said.
“The coalition of 24 states received a preliminary injunction at the District Court level in May,” Pearlman told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday. “The federal defendants have appealed it to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The state filed its response on Aug. 31 and the litigation is still pending. “
He said it’s been more than a year since Gordon joined 25 other governors in writing Biden a letter requesting a meeting to discuss this issue. That meeting has still not happened.
Looking For Solutions
Jean-Pierre said Biden has solutions to the immigration problem.
“He put forth an immigration — a comprehensive immigration bill, a piece of legislation. And — and what we would like to see is Republicans decide to come to the table and help us deal with a really systemic problem that we have seen for decades when it comes to our immigration system — which, by the way, was actually mismanaged and decimated by the last administration,” she said. “But what Republicans want to do … is they’re moving forward with political stunt(s).”
Lummis also called for solutions to the nation’s immigration problem.
“It is time to seriously address the crisis at our border with real, actionable solutions,” she said.
Morning Consult reported Wednesday that voters are split “regarding whether the expulsion of migrants to blue states is appropriate, moral or effective.”
In a Morning Consult/Politico survey conducted Sept. 16-18, among a representative sample of 2,005 registered voters, 42% said the migrant expulsion by Republican governors was appropriate. About 41% said it was not and 17% didn’t know.