DES MOINES, IOWA (November 14, 2023) — Attorney General Brenna Bird joined a coalition of 26 states in a letter to new House Speaker Mike Johnson today, urging passage of a law that gives states the authority to combat illegal immigration when the federal government fails to do its job.

The crisis at the southern border has reached unprecedented levels. More than seven million illegal immigrants have crossed the border since President Biden took office, including an estimated 1.5 million “gotaways” who have escaped Border Patrol. With no signs of slowing down, total illegal immigrant encounters for fiscal year 2023 surpassed that of 2022, setting yet another new record.

Following the barbaric Hamas terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, Biden’s reckless open-border policies have jeopardized Americans' safety. Over 280 members on the terror watch list have been apprehended at the southern border, with 169 detected this year alone. Countless more are suspected of slipping through the cracks.

“Americans have paid for Biden’s failed policies for far too long,” said AG Bird. “Fentanyl and methamphetamine are flooding our communities, women and children are being trafficked, and crime is soaring. Our southern border has become an open door for drug cartels and terrorists. We cannot afford to wait for Biden to do his job. This bill gives states the tools we need protect Iowans and uphold the rule of law.”

The bill allows states to send a written request to the Department of Homeland Security to carry out border-enforcement duties. If enacted, the bill will require the Department within thirty days to either fulfill the request or give state officials the authority to perform these duties.

Iowa joined 25 other states in the Florida-led letter.

Read the full letter here.

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