Jefferson City Today, Governor Mike Parson joined 25 other Governors in signing a memorandum of understanding establishing the American Governors' Border Strike Force. The strike force will help increase collaboration and improve intelligence sharing and analyses across participating states to disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations and cartels, combat human smuggling, and stop the flow of illegal drugs to states.
"The Biden Administration has failed to secure our nation's Southern Border, allowing millions of migrants and hundreds of thousands of pounds of illegal drugs to pour into the United States," Governor Parson said. "Time and time again, Governors have tried to work with the White House to discuss real solutions to secure the border. Instead, our concerns have been ignored, crime is out of control, and illegal drugs continue to infect our communities and harm our kids. Today, Governors are stepping up once again to do what the federal government refuses to do: secure our communities and protect our citizens."
The American Governors' Border Strike Force will coordinate participating states’ efforts to partner at the state fusion center level and amongst state law enforcement around the following actions:
- Share criminal justice information to improve investigations in the border region and nationwide, especially in communities adjacent to or crossing state boundaries.
- Coordinate and improve interdiction on interstates to combat drug trafficking and human smuggling.
- Co-locate intelligence analysts in border states to improve collaboration, real time response, intelligence sharing, and analysis connected to border security.
- Assist border states with supplemental staff and resources at state fusion centers, such as on rotation assignments and to share information obtained both on the border and/or in other states.
- Send law enforcement to train in border states to detect, track, and curb border-related crime.
- Target cartel finances that fund criminal activity in the border regions to seize the tools used to assist the cartels.
- Monitor cybersecurity issues that may increase vulnerability along the Southern Border, such as criminal networks that operate on social media to recruit traffickers.
- Review state criminal statutes regarding human trafficking, drug trafficking, and transnational criminal organizations to ensure the laws deter, disrupt, and dismantle criminal activity.
- Review state criminal justice statistics and information to determine crimes that can be traced to the Southern Border.
- Develop interstate procedures to fill any identified gaps or identified inconsistencies in existing plans to address border crime.
This action by Governors comes as more than 221,000 migrants were encountered at the Southern Border in March 2022 – the highest number in 22 years. Additionally, next month, the Biden Administration is preparing to revoke Title 42, which is expected to lead to 18,000 or more migrant encounters per day at the border.
Under the Biden Administration, more than 2.3 million migrants have been encountered at the Southern Border. In the past six months, reports indicate that there have been 300,000 known "gotaways" – migrants who were not apprehended by border agents and did not turn themselves in – at the Southern Border.
"The crisis at our Southern Border is out of control. In the absence of federal leadership, we will do what is required to help solve this growing problem and protect the people of Missouri," Governor Parson said.
The Director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety will be Missouri's designee on the American Governors' Border Strike Force. The agreement does not obligate states to expend funds.
To learn more about the American Governors' Border Strike Force, click here.