Sunday, June 16, 2024

Illegal immigration must be addressed in special session

| June 9, 2024 12:00 AM

We write to encourage a call to action. We must immediately address the illegal immigration happening in Montana. 

We, as well as many Montanans have seen the numbers ­— fentanyl confiscation in Montana up by 20,000%, sex trafficking up by 116%, illegal immigration at our northern border up 597% with over 10,000 illegal immigrants encounters per month. 

These inexpiable numbers indicate two things: The failure of the Biden administration to protect America from the influx of crime caused by the illegal immigration crisis on our border, and the need for the Montana Legislature to act where the federal government fell short.  

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Arizona was quoted by the Associated Press regarding securing his state’s borders as saying, “Every minute we wait means more fentanyl deaths, more strain on our first responders, and the looming possibility of street releases — something that no small community wants.”

 But what are we as Montanans doing with the information that has already been well circulated regarding our state? Are we still pretending what is happening at the southern border can’t affect a state as far away as Montana? 

Look at accounts like the Bozeman resident who was allegedly stabbed to death by an illegal immigrant or the apprehension of three illegal immigrants allegedly stalking Bozeman locals in a sex trafficking scheme. 

Denying the facts can only mean one is suffering from motivated skepticism or an ideological fallacy. This is not the case for Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas who was also quoted saying, 

“Our border communities are not just political backdrops, not just places you go to point out problems. They’re places where real people live, where they’re trying to raise their families.” 

This is why I am calling on you to urge your state legislators to vote for a special session where we can gather for a week and address these issues as many other states have already done. It is our job to protect the Montana population by halting those inexcusable statistics. 

It is likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will soon be asked to consider the constitutionality of Senate Bill 4 enacted by Texas, which is what our bill in the special session is based upon. It will be important that other states impacted by the Biden administration’s unwillingness to enforce federal immigration laws have enacted their own laws to signal to the court that we must have the ability to defend our interests if the Biden Administration will not. The impacts extend far beyond southern border states.”

Reps. Bill Mercer, HD 46; Brandon Ler, HD 35; Sherry Essmann, HD 52; Jodee Etchart, HD 48; Mike Yakawich, HD 51; Nelly Nico, HD 53; Larry Brewster, HD 44; Greg Oblander, HD 40; and Sen. Kenneth Bogner, SD 19.