Three Michigan Republicans are calling on Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to deploy the Michigan National Guard to Texas to help secure the southern border, citing drugs and illegal immigrants flowing into the state.
“Now is the time for action and we call upon you to activate the Michigan National Guard and to deploy them to the Southern Boarder to aid Texas and 24 other states in securing our southern border,” state Reps. Neil Friske, Matt Maddock, and James DeSana wrote in a letter to Whitmer on Wednesday. “The federal government has failed in its duty to protect our border, so it is up to the states to secure it ourselves.”
The letter cites disturbing statistics from fiscal year 2023 that illustrate the severity of the problem.
A total of 169 individuals on the government’s terrorist watch list were stopped attempting to cross the US-Mexico border last fiscal year, including 18 in September alone. Those encounters were among 7.5 million nationwide since President Joe Biden took office, which includes 6.2 million along the southwest border. At least 1.7 million others are known to have made it across and gotten away, lawmakers wrote.
Other threats to public safety come from folks on the FBI’s Most Wanted list crossing over, as well as a flood of drugs that have contributed to record overdoses in many states and local communities. Statistics from US Customs and Border Patrol show a total of 27,293 pound of fentanyl was seized in fiscal year 2023, or enough to kill 6 million people.
“Michigan is being affected by this crisis and the issues of the boarder are stretching to dangerous levels here. Just last week a world terrorist watch suspect was arrested in Michigan,” the letter read. “We have also seen news reports of homeless shelters in Detroit being overrun with illegal immigrants instead of homeless people. We have also seen reports of buses of illegal immigrants being brought into places like Grand Rapids and Traverse City.”
The most recent data from 2022 shows a total of 2,993 people in Michigan died of drug overdoses, while that number was 109,680 nationwide, with the vast majority tied to opioids, and fentanyl specifically.
“This can not be our new normal that over 100,000 people … are dying every single year of overdose,” University of Michigan psychiatry professor Allison Lin told the Detroit Free Press when the CDC numbers were released in May. “That is not something we can tolerate as a society. This is just a tremendous number of people who are dying every year. We haven’t turned it around.”
Overdoses nationally skyrocketed by 30% in 2020 and 15% in 2021, while in Michigan it was a 16% jump in 2020 and 9.3% increase in 2021, according to the news site.
While legislators in Washington D.C. are now haggling over an immigration deal that would allow up to 5,000 illegal crossings per day, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is using Operation Lone Star to enforce the border, prompting Republican governors in 25 states to send National Guard soldiers to help.
Many of those reinforcements came in response to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed the Biden administration’s Border Patrol to destroy concertina wire barriers erected as part of Operation Lone Star in Eagle Pass. In total, 54 Texas counties have declared an invasion, The Center Square reports.
“This is a fight for America,” Abbot said, “and they all know it.”