GOP Governors Press for Meeting With Biden Over 'Emergent Crisis' on Border

Republican governors from 26 states have sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking for a meeting to discuss the ongoing situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, which they deemed a "national security crisis" as migrants—many from Haiti—have flooded an area near Del Rio, Texas.

"The months-long surge in illegal crossings has instigated an international humanitarian crisis, spurred a spike in international criminal activity, and opened the floodgates to human traffickers and drug smugglers endangering public health and safety in our states," said the letter, which was distributed by the Republican Governors Association. "A crisis that began at our southern border now extends beyond to every state and requires immediate action before the situation worsens."

Every Republican governor in the United States, except Vermont Governor Phil Scott, signed the letter. The list of signees included high-profile governors Mike DeSantis of Florida, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Greg Abbot of Texas, Brian Kemp of Georgia and Doug Ducey of Arizona.

In the letter, the governors request a meeting with Biden in the next two weeks.

The White House didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment on the letter.

"[The] negative impacts of an unenforced border policy on the American people can no longer be ignored," the letter read.

Biden has faced steady backlash from Republicans who have argued that he's not doing enough to stop illegal immigration on the border. The White House has defended its position as taking a more humane approach to immigration than the previous administration.

"Despite the lack of federal action to reverse the crisis, many states have stepped up and committed unprecedented resources to support the security of our national border," the letter said. "We have heard directly from our constituents about the damage this crisis has caused in our states, and it is our duty as elected officials to act swiftly to protect our communities, as it is yours."

The U.S.-Mexico border has faced a large influx of people, as the Biden administration attempts to send migrants back to Haiti to ease the pressure.

On Saturday, the administration began mass deportations after thousands of Haitian migrants gathered under and around a bridge in Texas on the border and overwhelmed border patrol resources.

Haitian residents are still recovering from a major earthquake that killed at least 2,000 people and injured thousands more. Additionally, the country's late President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in July.

A group of 50 Democrats in Congress sent Biden's Department of Homeland Security chief a letter over the weekend discouraging the deportations.

"The Biden administration cannot claim it is doing everything it can to support the Haitian community while continuing to unjustly deport Haitians as the island weathers its worst political, public health and economic crises yet," Representative Ayanna Pressley, a Massachusetts Democrat who was one of the letter's lead writers, said in a statement.

GOP governors want Biden meeting on Border
Immigrants, mostly from Haiti, gather on the bank of the Rio Grande on September 19, 2021 in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, across the border from Del Rio, Texas. As U.S. immigration authorities began deporting immigrants back to Haiti from Del Rio, thousands more waited in a camp under an international bridge in Del Rio and others crossed the river back into Mexico. John Moore/Getty Images

Read the governors' full letter here.