With the U.S. southern border in chaos, Pennsylvania Republicans are supporting Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in his efforts to prevent waves of illegal immigrants from crossing into the U.S. And they want Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) to step up, too.
In December, Customs and Border Patrol reported a record 302,000 migrant encounters at the U.S./Mexico border. More than 7 million illegal immigrants have crossed into the country since President Joe Biden took office three years ago, according to the House Homeland Security Committee.
One of Biden’s first acts was to stop construction work on the border wall initiated by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.
Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-39), Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-41), Appropriations Committee Chair Scott Martin (R-13), and Majority Whip Ryan P. Aument (R-36) circulated a co-sponsor memo Wednesday for a resolution affirming Abbott is lawfully exercising his constitutional authority to defend his state and its citizens.
It comes in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing Border Patrol agents to cut razor wire that Texas forces deployed along the Rio Grande in an attempt to prevent illegal border crossings.
The Senate resolution also calls on Shapiro to join 25 GOP governors across the country publicly endorsing Abbott’s actions. The resolution also calls on the Biden administration to stop fighting Texas’ efforts and instead commit resources to support the Lone Star State in securing the border.
“Many of us are hearing from our constituents who are concerned with this troubling crisis and who have expressed a desire for us to help take a stand against the Biden administration’s disastrous border policies. This resolution reflects our duty to uphold our oath to support, obey, and defend the Constitution of the United States and ensure the safety of its citizens,” the lawmakers said.
“State and local officials across this country have sounded the alarm regarding the straining of their resources, the scourge of fentanyl deaths, the tragedy of human trafficking, including children smuggled across the border, and the flow of illegal firearms and dangerous gang members; all exasperated by the disastrous enforcement at our borders by the Biden administration.”
The resolution will likely go before the full Senate for a vote next week.
Similarly, the letter penned by Rep. Michael Cabell (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) and signed by dozens of representatives calls on Shapiro and Attorney General Michelle Henry to support Texas’ Operation Lone Star.
“While Operation Lone Star should be credited for, in a relatively short span of time, apprehending approximately 500,000 undocumented immigrants and seizing enough Mexican fentanyl to kill the entire population of the United States, additional manpower and resources are urgently needed to stem the tides of unlawful migration, human trafficking, and deadly narcotics trafficking,” the letter to Shapiro reads.
“At a time when the federal government has demonstrated an unmistakable aversion to countering this ever-increasing surge in illegal immigration, we encourage you to honor your commitment to ensuring that Pennsylvania ‘does not leave any state with an oversized responsibility’ in addressing the crisis at our southern border. Indeed, like you, we believe that all states, including Pennsylvania, share an obligation to fight this crisis to safeguard our communities and uphold the rule of law.”
Delaware Valley Reps. John Lawrence (R-West Grove), Donna Scheuren (R-Gilbertsville), and Milou Mackenzie (R-Bethlehem) signed the letters.
Also, Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), who ran against Shapiro for governor in 2022, called on Shapiro to send Pennsylvania National Guard troops to help Texas.
“Reckless federal government policies have created a crisis at our nation’s southern border,” Mastriano said. “Every state is now a border state. Pennsylvania has a compelling interest in helping secure the southern border of the United States. Fentanyl has flooded communities throughout our commonwealth, school districts are increasingly burdened, and strained social safety net funds are being diverted.”
Asked to comment, Shapiro’s spokesperson Manuel Bonder said, “Gov. Shapiro has been clear that our country needs a secure border and Congress needs to pass comprehensive reform to fix our broken immigration system. This issue requires leaders from both parties to step up and deliver real, comprehensive solutions — not the failed talking points and political grandstanding that have brought us decades without immigration reform.”