TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Twenty-six GOP governors, including Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, formed the American Governors' Border Strike Force meant to bolster security at the southern border.
"There are kids ODing on fentanyl all over our country," Ducey said. "It's one of the leading causes of death. People that are addicted, people that are looking for a cheap high, and that's coming over our southern border."
The effort is an expansion of the Arizona Border Strike Force, which Ducey says has seized 985 pounds of fentanyl, 13,100 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,704 pounds of cocaine and 801 pounds of heroin since its 2015 inception.
“What we’re doing in Arizona works,” said Ducey, in a statement. “But this is not just an Arizona issue, it’s a national issue. If our entire southern border isn’t secure, our nation isn’t secure. As dangerous transnational criminal organizations continue to profit from holes in the border and fill our communities with drugs, it’s no coincidence that we’re seeing historic levels of opioid-related deaths. The American Governors’ Border Strike Force will serve as a force multiplier in the fight against criminal activity directly tied to our border. My thanks to my fellow governors who saw the problem and chose to be part of the solution.”
Today we are launching the American Governors’ Border Strike Force – a partnership among 26 governors to do what the federal government won’t: secure the southern border.— Doug Ducey (@DougDucey) April 19, 2022
DETAILS: https://t.co/oT9EaiVyt9 1/ pic.twitter.com/ZmSL1iepZy
The Border Strike Force is intended to share intelligence and focus on cybersecurity. The group will target cartel finances that fund criminal activities and coordinate efforts to stop drug trafficking on Intersates 10 and 40.
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming are members of the Border Strike Force.
“Criminal organizations know how to exploit the crisis at the border, and are using it to flood massive quantities of fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine into our country,” said Tim Roemer, Arizona Department of Homeland Security Director and the state’s Chief Information Security Officer, in a statement. “The Biden administration’s failed border policies have created a homeland security and humanitarian crisis — and every state in the country is paying the price. The American Governors’ Border Strike Force will increase collaboration and intelligence sharing across state lines so we can work together to keep illegal drugs out of our towns and cities.”
As a comprehensive force, states can act in cohesion across state lines to target transnational criminal organizations, and drug and human trafficking crimes financially and operationally.
For more information on the program, visit azgovernor.gov.
Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of "Phil on Film" seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star. He is married and has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing email@example.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.