Gov. Little, Idaho tax dollars belong in Idaho, not on a fool’s errand at Mexico border

Gov. Brad Little, don’t spend Idaho taxpayer dollars on sending “law enforcement” to the Mexico border. That’s not your job, and that’s not what we should be spending Idaho tax dollars on.

Little on Thursday announced he would answer the call from Texas and Arizona Republican governors for help to secure the U.S.-Mexico border by sending “states’ law enforcement agencies” to the border.

Don’t we have better things to spend Idaho taxpayer money on? Such as public education? You did say you want to be known as the education governor, right? Yet, Idaho is still last in the nation in per-pupil spending, and your response is to sign tax cuts and now send our Idaho law enforcement to the Mexico border?

Little in a news release criticized the Biden administration. He said the “smuggling of drugs and illegal weapons, property destruction,” and the daily influx of “illegal immigrants” are worsening problems in the U.S.

“The state of Idaho proudly stands with our fellow Americans along the United States-Mexico border and will do what we can to protect the American people — Idahoans — against the damaging consequences of the inaction of the Biden-Harris administration,” Little said.

Gov. Little, if you don’t like President Joe Biden’s immigration policy, then go work on the campaign for someone running against him in the next election.

Or better yet, work with Idaho’s congressional delegation on immigration reform.

After all, because of Congress’ inaction on immigration, the president — whether it’s Joe Biden, Donald Trump or Barack Obama — holds outsized power and authority on the issue.

Coincidentally, on the same day Texas and Arizona governors publicly released a letter to state executives about border security, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, appeared at a press conference to support a bill, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, that would give H-2A visa holders — agricultural workers — a path to citizenship.

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said he plans to co-sponsor a version of the House bill in the Senate.

Rather than answering the call from governors from other states, spend your time working on real solutions to the issue.

It’s painful to watch when Little, who is usually measured and balanced in his decisions, tries to play the part of crazy right-wing governor.

A Politico story last weekend quoted China Gum, former adviser to Raul Labrador’s gubernatorial campaign against Little in 2018, comparing Little to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“A lot of people were saying he’s not DeSantis enough … DeSantis is a lot more symbolic of what Idaho Republicans want,” Gum told Politico.

Well, we got DeSantis now.

This is clearly just a political stunt, as Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin tries to run to Little’s far right.

We can’t wait for the May primary to be over, as Little tries to appease the far right wing of the Idaho Republican Party.

It’s similar to when Little very briefly announced he was supporting an ill-advised, unconstitutional and ultimately tossed-out court challenge from the Texas attorney general challenging the 2020 presidential election results and processes in other states.

Little said, “Idaho is evaluating our resources” and said he’d have more to share about his plans for border aid later.

Idaho State Police spokesperson Lynn Hightower said ISP Col. Kedrick Wills “is working with the governor’s staff to evaluate resources.”

So we’re going to send Idaho State Police Troopers to guard the border? What could possibly go wrong?

This is the wrong move, Gov. Little. Don’t waste our tax dollars on this fool’s errand.

Statesman editorials are the unsigned opinion expressing the consensus of the Idaho Statesman’s editorial board. Board members are opinion editor Scott McIntosh, editor Chadd Cripe and newsroom editors Dana Oland and Jim Keyser and community members J.J. Saldaña and Christy Perry.