Wyoming advances bill to assist at border as migrant influx surges

by Jacob Fuller

Katie Kerekes, FISM News

Republican lawmakers in Wyoming have proposed legislation that would allocate more than $5 million toward border security efforts in Arizona, Florida, and Texas.

Filed by Republican State Sen. Larry Hicks, SF1066, “Border wall and sanctuary city transport,” is the state’s effort to assist in addressing this national security issue, and would provide an appropriation for “constructing a border wall along the southwest land border as specified … to aid other states in transporting non-citizens of the United State to sanctuary cities located in other states; and providing for an effective date.”

“The illegal immigration of non-citizens of the United States at the southwest land border negatively impacts the state of Wyoming’s economy and places a burden on Wyoming law enforcement agencies,” the bill states. “Construction of a permanent border along the southwest land border between the United States and Mexico constitutes a public purpose and provides substantial benefits to the health and welfare of citizens of the state of Wyoming.”

The bill would appropriate the money to the governor’s office, allowing contracts to be drafted between each state and the governor, for the purpose of assisting in efforts to secure the southwest land border and handle the migrant influx.

As reported by “The Center Square,” $3 million would be allocated to the office of the governor for a contract with the state of Texas, in which a maximum of $250,000 is reserved for transport of any non-citizens from Texas to sanctuary cities in other states.

Similarly, $2 million would be allocated to the governor’s office for a contract with the state of Arizona, with an identical $250,000 spending stipulation maximum for non-citizen transport from Arizona to sanctuary cities.

Additionally, the same $250,000 transport allocation will take effect for the state of Florida, with all three states required to submit documentation outlining reasonable and legitimate expenditures for both border wall construction and non-citizen sanctuary city transport.

Illegal Immigration Effect

According to statistics on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website, southwest land border encounters have increased more than 600% between December 2020 and December 2022.

The bill highlights this record increase in foreign national encounters, specifically those on the terror watch list and with criminal convictions, as evidence of the jeopardization of national security.

Just last week, an Iranian on the FBI’s terror watch list was arrested in Texas after being “found smuggled in the trunk of a vehicle,” according to the Daily Wire.

Alireza Heidari, 29, successfully entered the country illegally, evading Border Patrol, and was eventually apprehended by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Heidari’s arrest brings attention to the alarming uptick in terror watch list arrests between 2020 and 2022. The Daily Wire reports that 98 arrests were made in fiscal year 2022, compared to 17 in fiscal year 2021, and three in fiscal year 2020.

A startling 38 encounters of known terrorists, suspected terrorists, or associates of them were stopped at the border between October and January, with 17 arrests made in December alone.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection has admitted that roughly 1.2 million “gotaways” — illegal immigrants who were detected but not apprehended, have made it into the U.S. since President Joe Biden was inaugurated,” writes Hank Berrien, of the Daily Wire.

Supporters of the Wyoming bill maintain the assertion that national security must be addressed with a concerted effort and affects not only border states, but the whole United States.

The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced the bill on Thursday by a vote of 3-2.