Cox, Republican governors call for Biden ‘to control the crisis at the southern border’

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Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox speaks during a briefing at the Utah State Capitol on Jan. 8, 2021. Utah lawmakers have voted to require every cellphone and tablet sold there to automatically block pornography, the conservative state’s most recent move targeting online porn and one that critics call a significant intrusion on free speech. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News, via AP, Pool, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah’s governor is joining over a dozen other Republican governors calling on President Joe Biden “to control the crisis at the southern border.”

In a joint letter sent to Pres. Biden, Governor Spencer Cox and 18 others – including Gov. Brad Little of Idaho and Gov. Greg Abbot of Texas – say “the crisis is too big to ignore and is now spilling over the border states into all our states.”

“We call on you to take action on the crisis at the southern border immediately,” the letter reads in part. “Contrary to statements from your Administration, the border is neither closed nor secure.”

The governors say the crisis is the result of “reckless federal policy reversals” Pres. Biden executed in the early days of his administration.

“At a time when our country is trying to recover from a once-in-a-generation pandemic, the last thing we need is a self-created crisis that exploits families, undermines public safety, and threatens our national security. We urge you to take action to end the humanitarian crisis and secure our southern border immediately,” the letter closes. You can read the full letter below.

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In the latest poll from the Associated Press, 43% of those surveyed approved of Pres. Biden’s handling of immigration, with 54% disapproving. This was among his lowest-rated issues in the survey.

Immigration has become a growing concern for the White House as it grapples with an increase in migration, including by unaccompanied minors, at the U.S. border with Mexico. Republicans have tried to tie the uptick to Biden’s rollback of more stringent border policies enacted by his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Biden formally raised the nation’s cap on refugee admissions to 62,500 this year, weeks after facing bipartisan blowback for his delay in replacing the record-low ceiling set by Trump.

“It is important to take this action today to remove any lingering doubt in the minds of refugees around the world who have suffered so much, and who are anxiously waiting for their new lives to begin,” Biden stated before signing the emergency presidential determination setting the cap.

Some 35,000 refugees have been cleared to go to the United States, and 100,000 remain in the pipeline. Resettlement agencies that closed more than 100 offices during the Trump administration said the cap needed to be raised to unleash resources.

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“The way you rebuild capacity is by setting ambitious commitments that signal to domestic and international stakeholders that U.S. leadership is back,” said Nazanin Ash of the International Rescue Committee.

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