Idaho Gov. Brad Little will send five Idaho State Police troopers to the U.S.-Mexico border next week, a response to a growing wave of security concerns from conservatives and a plea from Republican governors for other state executives to help.
Arizona and Texas Republican governors in an open letter urged other state executives to send additional manpower to the Southern border last month. Little for the first time on Thursday provided more details on how he intends to add Idaho to the mix of states to respond to the request.
The troopers will leave Tuesday for a 21-day mission at a cost of $53,391 to the state, according to Little’s office.
Little in the news release Thursday criticized Democratic President Joe Biden for reversing former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, which Little said “kept the American people safer.”
“The crisis at the Unites States-Mexico border and the alarming bump in illegal drug activity are direct results of failed polices of the Biden-Harris administration that harm the people of Idaho,” Little said in the release.
At least four other Republican state governors have said they would assist in border security. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts in June announced he would send about 25 troopers. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said the state would offer 25 to 30 troopers. Florida and South Dakota governors both announced they would send 50 law enforcement members or troopers to Texas.
“Texas and Arizona have stepped up to secure the border in the federal government’s absence, and now the Emergency Management Assistance Compact gives your state a chance to stand strong with us,” said the open letter, which Little’s office received on June 15.
Migrants surge at U.S.-Mexico border
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reported a surge in migrant encounters and arrests at the Southern border since Biden began his presidency in January.
Little said drug seizures for meth, fentanyl and heroin “have doubled since Biden took office.” U.S. Customs and Border Protection had reported 136,603 pounds of meth, fentanyl and heroin combined through May, compared to about 107,000 pounds seized during the first five months last year.
Little’s spokesperson, Marissa Morrison Hyer, in an email pointed to Biden’s halting of the border wall construction and agreements with Central American countries that allowed the U.S. to send asylum seekers to other countries.
Biden also reversed Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required that asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their cases are pending in the U.S. immigration court system, despite having passed a “credible fear” screening — that they may be at risk of persecution in their home country.
Morrison Hyer said Little wants ISP troopers to support the Arizona State Police “to reduce the flow of illegal drugs into the country and Idaho, and for the ISP troopers to gain valuable hands-on training that they can use to serve the people of Idaho even better.”