Feb 14, 2024 - News

Rep. John Curtis wants federal government to compensate states for border response

Rep. John Curtis speaks in front of mics wearing a blue blazer.

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, speaks during the press conference introducing the Republican Climate Caucus outside of the Capitol on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

U.S. Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) recently revealed legislation that would direct the federal government to compensate states for sending law enforcement authorities to the U.S.-Mexico border and other costs to secure the frontier.

The big picture: The federal government has jurisdiction over immigration enforcement, but that hasn't stopped a growing number of GOP governors from spending public dollars to send military and law enforcement personnel to address illegal crossings at the southern border.

By the numbers: Gov. Spencer Cox said last week that it would cost the state a combined $150,000 to deploy National Guard members and highway patrol troopers to the border later this month.

The other side: Utah Democrats decried Cox's move, pointing out that the funding could go toward other public services.

What they're saying: "We shouldn't be putting the burden on [states] of doing the [federal government's] job," Curtis told Axios Salt Lake City.

  • He said the number of people coming across the border is correlated with fentanyl death increases.

Yes, but: Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall last week pushed back on the notion that an increase in border crossings was fueling more drug crime in the city.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Salt Lake City.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Salt Lake City stories

No stories could be found

Salt Lake Citypostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Salt Lake City.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more