The Gazette’s Rod Boshart reported last weekend that Gov. Kim Reynolds Is once again considering sending state law enforcement officers to the U.S. Mexico border. In July, she sent more than two dozen personnel, including state troopers, to the southern border in Texas for two weeks at a cost of $300,000.
The governor contends the deployment was intended to stop human, gun and drug trafficking.
Also, earlier this month, the governor signed a letter along with 25 other Republican governors seeking to meet with President Joe Biden to discuss situation at the border.
“Our immigration system may be complicated and complex, but the solution to ending the border crisis is simple and straightforward. President Biden has the ability and the duty to take action to protect America, restore security, and end the crisis now,” Reynolds said in a statement.
What’s actually straightforward and clear is the governor’s attempts to score political points by exploiting a humanitarian crisis at the border.
Blame for the current situation sits on the shoulders of the Biden administration. And certainly the president has done his share of political maneuvering on immigration with troubling results.
Criticizing the president may be politically advantageous for Reynolds. But offering actual solutions or working on bipartisan reforms, would be better.
Republican governors are calling for tough restrictions while at the same time pointing out that apprehensions at the border are up “500 percent compared to last year.” It hardly seems like the open border many Republicans describe.
Earlier this year, when the Biden asked states to accept unaccompanied minors taken into custody at the border, Reynolds said the kids are “not out problem” and refused.
Then she sent state law enforcement personnel to Texas. Her administration refused to answer questions about the cost to taxpayers and details of the deployment. Reynolds also insisted the mission would have no effect on Iowa operations. But emails obtained by The Gazette’s Erin Jordan revealed there were concerns about how the Texas trip would affect state obligations. Officials knew the cost would be significant but hid the details.
More recently, Reynolds has said she would welcome Afghan refugees to the state. It’s a laudable decision. But it’s also another political calculation made while the Biden administration is under fire for its mismanaged withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.
America has a long history of demonizing immigrants for political gain. But we also have a long history of welcoming refugees and other immigrants fleeing danger and seeking a better life in the U.S. Reynolds must choose the legacy she’ll be a part of. But her overtly politically-driven decisions regarding the fate of struggling people reaching our borders suggests she’s already made that choice.