116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Iowa will join more than two dozen other states — all led by Republican governors — in an effort to assist federal immigration enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border by sharing intelligence and information from criminal investigations.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds made the announcement Thursday afternoon.
The group has named itself the American Governors’ Border Strike Force, and set the goal of helping “put an end to the crime stemming from the southern border,” a news release from Reynolds’ office states.
The 25 states will share intelligence information to improve border enforcement, and share information from criminal investigations to help combat drug trafficking, human smuggling, and drug cartels and other organizations crossing the border into the U.S., the news release said.
Participation in the effort will not cost any taxpayer-funded state spending, and it will not require the use of state law enforcement officials, Reynolds’ office said.
Reynolds said the Republican governors feel compelled to act because they believe Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration has not sufficiently enforced federal immigration laws.
“We can’t stand idle while President Biden does nothing to stop the crisis at our border, which is having devastating effects on every state,” Reynolds said in the news release. “President Biden’s disastrous border policies and lack of leadership are destroying our country. Fentanyl and other major drugs are becoming increasingly prevalent in our communities, so we must step up and protect our states, our families, our children, and our country that we’ve worked so hard to keep safe.”
The progressive advocacy group Progress Iowa issued a statement criticizing Reynolds’ decision to join the multistate effort, calling it “pure politics.”
“By joining this Border Strike Force, Gov. Reynolds and her corporate donors are trying to divide us — by stoking fear against people based on where they come from or what they look like,” Progress Iowa executive director Matt Sinovic said in the statement. “Iowans need a leader who will address the issues our state is facing, increase jobs and wages, and improve access to health care. This stunt is pure politics and ignores what Iowa families need while exploiting people in need.”
The states participating include: Arizona, Texas, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.
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