Republican governors are urging the Biden administration to provide more detailed statistics on immigration and asylum processing, accusing President Biden of incentivizing “illegal immigration.”
In a letter to Biden on Tuesday, 25 governors led by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) asked for detailed information on “where migrants admitted at the southern border are being relocated within the United States,” in addition to comprehensive data on asylum claim timelines, qualification rates, and successful deportations.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) was the only sitting Republican governor who did not sign the letter.
Republican Governors Demand Detailed Immigration Data from Biden
The governors conflated border crossings, public safety, terrorism, and the fentanyl epidemic as part of a singular issue, a controversial approach that has drawn criticism from experts on those topics.
In a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, Alex Nowrasteh, the Cato Institute’s vice president for economic and social policy studies, explained why rising terrorist watchlist encounters “do not indicate a threat of increased terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.”
However, the Biden administration has shown political vulnerability on border issues, and a growing number of migrant arrivals at the southwest border threatens to keep the issue front and center.
The 25 governors also accused the federal government of turning a blind eye to the fiscal effects of illegal immigration.
Although the governors did not cite a source for that figure, a March report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) arrived at that same figure.
The immediate fiscal effects of newly arrived migrants have created tension between Biden and Democratic mayors and governors, particularly New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
The 25 GOP governors highlighted that rift.
The GOP governors’ call for data contrasted with calls from Democratic state and local officials, many of whom have called on Biden to focus his efforts on speeding up work permits for migrants in the country.
The Republicans urged the Biden administration to release the immigration data “immediately, but also regularly as the crisis at the southern border continues.”
“Without such information, we cannot fulfill our fundamental duties to protect our citizens while providing our communities with appropriate services,” they wrote.
With information from The Hill