Gov. Kevin Stitt and eight other Republican governors received a briefing from Texas officials Wednesday about how the border crisis “has impacted the use, trafficking and distribution of illicit drugs in Oklahoma,” according to a news release from Stitt’s office.
The briefing, led by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd, was a reaction to President Joe Biden’s “lack of response” to a Sept. 20 letter Stitt and 25 other Republican governors sent to Biden requesting a meeting within 15 days to discuss the situation at the border.
Following the briefing, Stitt toured part of the U.S.-Mexico border by boat on the Rio Grande.
“The crisis that President Biden created at our southern border is unbelievable,” Stitt said. “In Oklahoma, we have seen an increase in the trafficking of illicit drugs, namely methamphetamine and fentanyl, which are being smuggled across our southern border from Mexico. Most methamphetamine available in our state is produced in Mexico and fentanyl-related deaths are up over 150% over the last year.”
Due to Oklahoma’s strategic central location and extensive interstate highways, some of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations operating in Mexico have established distribution channels in the state, Stitt’s office said in the news release.
“Methamphetamine, which is smuggled across the Southwest border, is the greatest drug threat to Oklahoma,” the news release states. “Most of the methamphetamine available in Oklahoma is produced in Mexico.”
Also attending the briefing were Govs. Doug Ducey of Arizona, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Brad Little of Idaho, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Mark Gordon of Wyoming.
The governors who sent Biden the letter also released on Wednesday a joint policy framework containing 10 proposed “solutions” to the border crisis.
The proposals are:
1. Continue Title 42 public health restrictions.
2. Fully reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols.
3. Finish securing the border.
4. End catch and release.
5. Clear the judicial backlog.
6. Resume the deportation of all criminals.
7. Dedicate federal resources to eradicate human trafficking and drug trafficking.
8. Reenter all agreements with our Northern Triangle partners and Mexico.