Republican Governor Fighting To Protect His State

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( – New Hampshire’s Republican Governor Chris Sununu is spearheading a state-driven initiative to enhance security measures along the U.S.-Canada border, citing insufficient action from the federal level.

Asserting neglect from President Biden’s administration, Sununu declared his strategy to allocate $1.4 million from the state’s budget to significantly increase the presence of state and local law enforcement across New Hampshire’s 58-mile border stretch with Canada.

Sununu pointed out an alarming trend, noting an unprecedented surge in apprehensions along the northern frontier, surpassing the total of the previous decade. He accentuated the escalating security risk, mentioning a twofold increase in detentions of individuals listed on terrorist watchlists at northern entry points since 2017.

Amid growing national security concerns, Sununu, flanked by state attorney general John Formella and other law enforcement heads, underscored the necessity for augmented resources and a comprehensive strategy. This collective effort led to the establishment of the Northern Border Alliance Task Force, a collaborative enforcement venture aiming to propel border patrol activities from approximately 55 hours monthly to an aggregate of 10,000 hours over the forthcoming 18 months.

Criticizing the federal response, Sununu stated his administration’s requests for assistance had fallen on deaf ears in Washington, lamenting the absence of additional support or initiatives from federal agencies.

In contrast, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat and seasoned figure in New Hampshire’s congressional team, conducted an exploratory visit to the border recently. She committed to confronting border issues and securing further funds, while her representatives took the opportunity to censure Sununu for allegedly underutilizing funds previously allocated to New Hampshire.

However, the governor’s announcement met skepticism from certain quarters. Sebastian Fuentes, a prominent figure in immigrant rights advocacy with Rights & Democracy NH, described the heightened attention to unauthorized border activities as an exaggerated “crisis” contrived for political gain. Sununu countered this assertion, dismissing detractors and asserting his state is at the forefront of addressing the situation with the gravity it warrants.

Statistics reflect an uptick in border incidents in the northern regions, reaching 7,633 encounters by the end of July this fiscal period, a stark increase from 2,238 in FY 2022 and 916 in FY 2021. Despite these figures being overshadowed by the staggering encounter rates at the southern boundary, the northern statistics present a substantial operational hurdle, especially considering the leaner enforcement agencies in these regions.

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