‘Every state is now a border state,’ Cox tells Biden, asking for transparency on immigration

Sep 20, 2023, 8:58 AM | Updated: 11:38 am

President Joe Biden talks with Gov. Spencer Cox after his arrival on Air Force One in Salt Lake Cit...

President Joe Biden talks with Gov. Spencer Cox after his arrival on Air Force One in Salt Lake City on Aug. 9. Cox joined a letter asking the White House for more transparency around border crossings. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

What are governors across the U.S. asking from the president?


SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox joined with dozens of Republican governors to ask President Joe Biden for more transparency on the crisis at the southern border.

The letter is part of an effort led by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte to reframe the issue of immigration and the border as one that impacts every state, not just those that share a border with Mexico. The letter cites recent calls for help from New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, who has called the recent influx of migrants into the city a “national problem.”

“The crisis at the southern border extends to every state,” the letter says. “As a result of your policies which incentivize illegal immigration, our states are carrying the burden of both the yearslong surge in illegal border crossings and cartels’ coordinated trafficking of drugs and human beings.”

The states are on the “front lines,” the governors said, asking the White House for “honest, accurate, detailed information on where the migrants admitted at the southern border are being relocated in the United States, in addition to comprehensive data on asylum claim timelines and qualification rates, and successful deportations.”

More than 5.8 million illegal crossings have occurred at the southern border, and 1.6 million people avoided being apprehended by Customs and Border Protection, according to the letter. Gianforte, the Montana governor, notes that illegal crossings at the northern border with Canada have also increased “exponentially.”

“States are forced to provide financial, educational and medical support to migrants entering our country illegally — support that is skyrocketing in cost due to record inflation and the unprecedented influx of migrants into our states,” the letter says. “The financial impact on the states is staggering, and it is our hardworking citizens who shoulder that burden. … As we have made clear repeatedly, every state is now a border state.”

Cox has previously expressed concern for border states who deal with the brunt of migration.

“They carry an enormous burden, and they deserve more support,” he said last October. “If we’re not going to fix it, then we all have to be involved in helping them. … But some of those states that don’t have migrants coming in need to bear some of that cost, some of that burden. And maybe if they did, maybe their senators would be much more interested in actually solving the problem.”

It’s a problem the governor thinks Congress should take a more active role in solving. When asked about the crisis in May, Cox said the “imbeciles in Congress can’t get their crap together” when it comes to solving it.

Although the governor apologized the following day for using the “derogatory term,” he reiterated that members of Congress have been “failing to fix the border and immigration crisis” for the past 40 years.

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‘Every state is now a border state,’ Cox tells Biden, asking for transparency on immigration