January 27, 2024

By Victor Nava


Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and several New York Republican lawmakers Friday demanded that Gov. Kathy Hochul follow Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s lead by taking immediate measures to secure the northern border amid a surge in illegal crossings from Canada.

In a letter to the Empire State governor, Stefanik and her colleagues told Hochul they were “shocked” to not see her name among the 25 state governors that signed a joint statement Thursday in support of Abbott’s efforts to secure the southern border, given the toll the migrant crisis has wrought on New York.

“As an all-time high number of illegal immigrants cross our borders and bleed into New York, your refusal to reverse course has created an unsustainable environment that has taken a financial and humanitarian toll on the state,” the letter states.

“Given the influx of illegal immigrants to New York, we call on you to take efforts to secure the Northern Border, and support Texas Governor Greg Abbott in his efforts to do the same for our Southern Border,” the New York lawmakers argue. “With Joe Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas refusing to act, it is past time for our Governors to take decisive action to protect their citizens and our country.”

In their call for prompt action, Stefanik and her allies point to US Border Patrol’s 91,640 migrant encounters last year along the New York-Canada border, in the Swanton and Buffalo sectors, including the arrest of an Iranian national with unspecified “ties to terrorism” caught trying to illegally enter the US near Niagara Falls.

Rep. Elise Stefanik and other congressional New York Republican lawmakers called on Hochul to secure the northern border. AP

The lawmakers also spotlight the $2 billion New York City has already spent on housing and caring for the record number of migrants that have overwhelmed the Big Apple under the Biden administration and the city’s projected $12 billion in spending on migrants by the end of 2025.

Earlier this week, Hochul and eight other Democratic governors called for federal action on immigration, in a letter to President Biden and congressional leaders, describing the influx of migrants from the southern border as a “humanitarian crisis.”

On Tuesday, the governor unveiled a record-breaking $233 billion state budget for fiscal year 2025, including $2.4 billion for New York City’s migrant crisis.

Gov. Hochul has called the situation on the southern border a “humanitarian crisis.” AP

Meanwhile, in Texas, Abbott has invoked what he asserts is the Lone Star State’s “constitutional right to protect and defend our southern border.”

His strategy for combating migrant crossings, which the Biden administration argues is unconstitutional, has included installing razor wire and floating barriers along the illegal entry point hotspots, signing legislation that allows state authorities to arrest and jail illegal border-crossers, and bussing tens of thousands of asylum seekers to so-called “sanctuary cities.”

The Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that federal authorities have the right to cut through Abbott’s razor wire fencing.

The governor has defiantly vowed to install more, prompting the statement of support from half of the country’s governors, all Republicans.

“Far Left Kathy Hochul has openly admitted that New York taxpayers cannot afford to continue subsidizing the illegal immigrants pouring in through our borders because of Joe Biden’s disastrous open border policies,” Stefanik told The Post. “She has the opportunity here and now to stand with Governor Greg Abbott as he works tirelessly to secure Texas’s border and secure our country from this invasion Joe Biden has unforgivably encouraged.”

“Kathy Hochul has a duty to every New Yorker to ensure their safety and security and right now she is miserably failing them.”

Reps. Nick Langworthy, Nicole Malliotakis, Brandon Williams, Claudia Tenney, Nick LaLota, Marc Molinaro, Mike Lawler, and Anthony D’Esposito joined Stefanik in signing the letter.

On Friday, US Customs and Border Protection reported that 788 migrants had been stopped in December trying to illegally enter the country from Canada in the Buffalo and Swanton sectors — nearly double the 432 apprehended in December 2022 after 58 and 34 encounters were recorded in the same month of the previous two years.