FOX NEWS - More than two dozen Republican governors are demanding a meeting with President Biden to address securing America's borders, saying the illegal immigration surge under the current administration has created an "international humanitarian crisis."
A letter released Monday signed by 26 Republican governors, including Doug Ducey of Arizona, Ron DeSantis of Florida, and Greg Abbott of Texas, asks Biden to schedule a meeting at the White House within the next 15 days so they can have an "open and constructive dialogue regarding border enforcement on behalf of U.S. citizens in our states and all those hoping to become U.S. citizens."
The governors said border apprehensions are up almost 500% compared to last year, and that approximately 9,700 illegal apprehensions have prior criminal convictions. They said more fentanyl has been seized this fiscal year than the last three years combined and that cartels and human traffickers are making millions by smuggling people and drugs across the border.
"While governors are doing what we can, our Constitution requires that the president must faithfully execute the immigration laws passed by Congress," the governors wrote. "Not only has the federal government created a crisis, it has left our states to deal with challenges that only the federal government has a duty to solve.
"Our immigration system may be complicated and complex, but the solution to ending the border crisis is simple and straightforward," they continued. "As president, you have the ability to take action to protect America, restore security, and end the crisis now."
The letter came a day after the U.S. government closed a portion of the southern border and started deporting hundreds of Haitian migrants who had been camped around a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, after crossing from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Arizonans in border counties speak out
After Gov. Ducey joined other governors in requesting the meeting, people are speaking out.
"I’m happy Ducey stepped up and demanded a meeting with Biden," said John Ladd, a rancher in Cochise County.
Ladd's ranch is butted up against the border. He says between crossings and the border patrol, there is rarely a calm night on his ranch.
"We were getting maybe 20 a month during Trump's four years. The biggest tool he used was having them remain in Mexico when they demanded asylum," said Ladd.
The Southern Border Communities Coalition, a multi state group advocating humane immigration reform policies, says the law and order approach hasn’t stopped asylum seekers
"We keep sending more ‘security’ resources to the border, and the problem - if you want to call it a problem - is not being solved by that," said Vicki Gaubeda. "This is why we need to change our approach. It’s not working. We need to do something different."
In border communities, local law enforcement says they are stretched thin, but it should be the federal governments job to secure the area.
"We have to change the message from the President of the United States. Our border is not open for business. Our border needs to be secured, that if you breach our border, there’s consequences for that," said Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels.
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