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Gov. Tate Reeves joins GOP governors in Texas to push for more border security

GOP governors gathered in Eagle Pass, Texas on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Gov. Greg Abbott)

As Texas and the federal government continue to be at odds over immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves and 12 other Republican governors joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to further push Abbott’s ongoing border security operation.

During the news conference held at Shelby Park – a key city-owned stretch in Eagle Pass that the Texas National Guard has seized and blocked Border Patrol from apprehending and processing migrants – the GOP leaders called out Democratic President Joe Biden for what they consider an “invasion.”

“A state can defend itself and its citizens to protect their safety from the imminent danger that we are facing and from an invasion from millions of people coming across the globe into our country, who are unaccounted for whatsoever,” Abbott said, promising to take control of other parts of the border. “As we speak right now, the Texas National Guard is undertaking operation to expand this… We’re not going to contain ourselves to just this park.”

Reeves, who was recently reelected to a second term and has a history of sending Mississippi National Guard members to the southern border, used the opportunity to call for the American people to vote Biden out and reelect former President Donald Trump.

“It is clear that our nation cannot survive another four years of Joe Biden,” Reeves said. “He’s weakening America’s national security and putting your personal safety at risk – all because of politics. It’s long past time to put a stop to this insanity. Together, we can do it – it starts by voting for Donald Trump in November.”

The feud with the federal government in Texas comes on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court decision last month that cleared the way for federal agents to remove razor wire at the border, a decision Abbott and fellow GOP governors say encourages illegal immigration. Abbott, with $11 billion in support from the Texas legislature, has since deployed thousands of state police officers and National Guard members to arrest migrants for trespassing on private lands.

The state-federal standoff has been escalated by recent data from the Biden administration that shows December was a single-month high for the number of migrants crossing the border. The report from the president’s office also showed that the flow of migration dropped by more than 50 percent over the first two weeks of January.

Nonetheless, professor of political science at Mississippi College Glenn Antizzo explained that the numbers will rise again if additional policy is not put in place.

“My understanding is about six million people have been let in since Biden became president. To put it into context, that’s twice the population of the state of Mississippi,” Antizzo said. “Basically, in my opinion, the government is just absolutely abrogating its duty to defend its own territory… It’s amazing that we’re trying to help Ukraine and other countries defend their borders but won’t defend our own.”

Policy that could include a bipartisan solution was introduced by a handful of U.S. senators on Sunday. Referred to by NBC News as “the most aggressive border security and overhaul bill in decades,” the legislation would give the Department of Homeland Security the ability to shut down the border if 4,000 or more migrants are being encountered over a seven-day average. It would also tighten asylum qualifications with those who fail the interview being repatriated to their home countries, virtually ending the practice of “catch and release.” It was packaged alongside critical aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, which Republicans have said they only plan to support if tougher laws are implemented on the border.

Other GOP governors that were in attendance on Sunday in Eagles Pass were Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox.

The full press conference can be watched here.

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