(The Center Square) – Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has joined the governors of more than two dozen states to create a task force to crack down on transnational criminal organizations.
The American Governors’ Border Strike Force will work to disrupt and dismantle cartels. As part of the effort, states will increase their collaboration, fight human smuggling and work to stop the drug flow.
“What happens at our nation’s southern border impacts every single community in America,” Kemp said in an announcement. “…Our ultimate goal is to improve public safety, protect victims from horrific crimes, reduce the amount of drugs in our communities, and alleviate the humanitarian crisis at the southern border.”
The governors say they are acting because the federal government will not secure the southern border and directly blame President Joe Biden’s “disastrous border policies” for the problem.
The effort is modeled on the Arizona Border Strike Force, an initiative Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey unveiled in 2015. Arizona’s force has seized 985 pounds of fentanyl, more than 13,000 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 1,700 pounds of cocaine and more than 800 pounds of heroin.
“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,” Ducey said in a news release.
The states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming have joined the task force.
According to a memorandum of understanding (MOU), each state is responsible for its costs.
Katie Byrd, Kemp’s communications director, told The Center Square there are no funds for the task force in this year’s state budget.