As the crisis at the southern U.S. border continues to worsen and President Joe Biden’s administration scrambles to find safe and clean housing for a record number of unaccompanied illegal migrant children crossing the border, some Republican governors are taking a preemptive stand.
According to the Washington Examiner, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) made clear in a Wednesday tweet that the Biden administration is not welcome to relocate illegal immigrants to her state, telling illegal immigrants to “call me when you’re an American.”
Noem, who has long held a hardline stance against illegal immigration, similar to former President Donald Trump’s approach, is one of a growing number of Republican governors who want to make clear to the Biden administration that their respective states are open for relocating tens of thousands of illegal migrant children.
“South Dakota won’t be taking any illegal immigrants that the Biden Administration wants to relocate. My message to illegal immigrants… call me when you’re an American,” Noem tweeted.
Noem’s announcement came shortly after South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed an executive order stating that the Biden administration would not be allowed to shuffle any of the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors currently being held in border facilities to his state’s foster homes or other housing.
“The heartbreaking humanitarian crisis on our border was created by the Biden Administration. Sending unaccompanied migrant children from the border to states like South Carolina only makes the problem worse,” McMaster tweeted on Monday.
McMaster followed up on his executive order stressing that his top priority is his state’s own “vulnerable” children, and explained that taking in thousands of unaccompanied minors from the border would only serve to disrupt that priority, as far as resources are concerned.
New records set
According to Politico, as bad as February was as far as unaccompanied minors coming across the border, March was markedly worse.
Data released earlier this month from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol revealed that in the month of March alone, more than 18,800 unaccompanied minors poured across the southern U.S. border, marking a 100% increase from February’s number of 9,000.
Because of the unprecedented increase, the Biden administration has been forced to move rapidly to find expanded housing facilities, which was especially critical due to the COVID-19 pandemic and high likelihood that a number of children could be carrying the virus, thus decreasing maximum capacities for current holding facilities.
Biden’s administration is also facing a number of lawsuits, including legal action initiated by Missouri and Texas over the ending of Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols, which were put in place by the former president to keep asylum seekers out of America while awaiting their asylum hearings.
Only time will tell how the Biden administration reacts to Republican governors shutting down their stats for overflow purposes, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if more states follow suit, as the last thing they want to do is take away resources from their own vulnerable populations during the pandemic.