Dozens of asylum-seeking migrants from Romania, Armenia, and Central America, including a group of unaccompanied minors, await to be transported to a US border patrol processing facility after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico on a raft in La Joya, Texas, US, May 5, 2021. (Reuters photo)
The governors of Texas and Arizona are calling for other US states to send police to the border to help them deal with the deteriorating crisis there.
In a letter to their fellow governors this week, governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona wrote, "On behalf of Texas and Arizona, we respectfully but urgently request that you send all available law-enforcement resources to the border in defense of our sovereignty and territorial integrity."
In order to deal with a surge in migration to the borer, Texas and Arizona built, opened or refashioned a number of facilities to house the migrants coming across the border, including the use of hotels by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Officials have, however, complained that migrants are often let loose into communities and able to travel to wherever they want.
Former president Donald Trump had sparked controversy during his 2016 election campaign when he branded Mexican migrants as "rapists" and drug dealers and promised to build a wall across the southern border.
His Democratic successor Joe Biden, however, signed an order that paused all construction on the southern border and reversed Trumpís harsh immigration policies.
The president now stands accused of inciting a chaotic migrant rush on the border with Mexico.
Both Texas and Arizona have sued over the Biden administrationís policies, arguing that border states are hurt the most by the relaxing of Trump-era border and enforcement measures.
Abbott and Ducey warned other states that it will have a knock-on effect on their states too.
"This failure to enforcement federal immigration laws causes banns that spill over into every State. The cartels will see to it that their deadly fentanyl and human-trafficking victims reach far and wide," the letter says. "The convicted criminals they smuggle into the homeland will bring recidivism with them to far too many of your communities."
Although they both noted the billions they had spent in border and public safety in recent years, as well as disaster declarations, they still assert that "additional manpower is needed from any State that can spare it."
"Texas and Arizona have stepped up to secure the border in the federal governmentís absence, and now the Emergency Management Assistance Compact gives your state a chance to stand strong with us," the governors say.
On Friday, the White House said that the Biden administration will return over $2 billion in funds allotted under Trump to build the border wall to the military and devote other remaining money to construction site clean-up.
Sixty-six military projects spanning 11 states, three US territories and 16 countries will be funded, the White House said in a related fact sheet. The projects include $79 million to renovate a US military school in Germany and $9 million for a firing range in Indiana.
On Thursday, Abbott, a Republican, said his state would build its own border wall, but whether he has the resources and legal authority to do that is not clear.