- Lawmakers say the crisis has turned every state into a border state and if the governor won't help, the General Assembly will take action on its own.
On Wednesday, the North Carolina House of Representatives called on Gov. Roy Cooper to step up and address the southern border crisis impacting the state’s health and safety.
All 72 Republicans in the North Carolina House sent a letter to Cooper urging him to stand in solidarity with Texas as the state works to defend the border and protect American citizens. The House supermajority warned that they will take steps to handle the open border with Texas if the governor fails to act.
“Unchecked, this crisis threatens our basic security and freedoms,” the letter reads. “We will not sit idly by while this President’s failure causes ruin to this great State and our nation as a whole… Our state must stand in solidarity with Texas and Governor Abbott and support his efforts to defend our southern border and protect our citizens. This body urges you to stand with Governor Abbott and speak out in support of his actions to protect his state.”
The signatories ask Cooper to address three main topics:
- Halt any discretionary cooperation with the federal government to place and house illegal migrants in North Carolina.
- Commit to signing legislation that mandates cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement by local police departments to remove illegal immigrants who are committing crimes.
- Deploy additional National Guardsmen to assist Texas at the border.
About 125 North Carolina National Guardsmen are working with border patrol in Eagle Pass, Texas, where Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, visited months ago. During a press conference, he recalled watching immigrants walk right across the border, get detained for a very brief period, given money, and then sent on their way and told to come back for a court date five years later.
“These are folks who volunteered for this assignment,” Moore said. “These are men and women who are taking time from their careers and their families here because they believe in the mission, and we appreciate your service.”
Last week the US Supreme Court ruled that federal agents can remove razor wire that Texas installed. Texas has worked to halt the influx of illegal immigrants and drugs entering the country, but the Biden administration has sued, delayed, and removed physical barriers. Moore said the federal government has willfully abandoned its duty to protect our nation’s sovereignty by allowing the border to remain open. Calling every state a border state, he pointed to the direct impacts.
Since President Biden took office, 11,788 North Carolinians have died from fentanyl, a number that has doubled in just the past few years. Additionally, North Carolina recently ranked the ninth state in the country for human trafficking cases. Foreign actors, traffickers, cartels, and gangs are all ongoing concerns as young, military-aged males enter from all parts of the world, including the Middle East, Russia, and China.
“This is a clear and present danger to our country,” warned Moore. “So why are we as the state legislature weighing in? We’re doing it because while Texas may be the direction folks are coming in, North Carolina is now essentially a border state. Because the folks don’t just stay in Texas, they move all over the country. And we have a situation like we’ve never seen.”
As law enforcement officers face an influx of dangerous drugs in their communities, Rep. Donna White, R-Johnston, keyed on teens who vape. She explained that extremely potent marijuana concentrates used in some vape products have been traced back to cartels by law enforcement. The drugs enter through the southern border and are then distributed nationwide.
The letter also refers to the New Hanover County school superintendent’s proposed closing of a special needs public school and replacing it with a “newcomer school” for non-citizens.
“These issues are only growing and it is your duty as governor to do everything you can do to protect this state,” the letter read. “We trust that you share our desire to protect the state from the failures of the federal government’s open border policies.”
Lawmaker say the letter serves as a chance for Cooper to enact measures that protect North Carolinians. But if Cooper doesn’t help as requested, the General Assembly has a back-up plan come April, the start of the legislative session:
“We believe it is a critical issue… We’re hoping the governor will take action. If not, the North Carolina General Assembly is prepared to do so when we come back into session,” Moore stated.
Cooper’s office has not released a statement in response to the letter.