Three Republican sheriffs from New Jersey are among 275 nationwide that signed a letter asking President Joe Biden to reverse course on his border policy they fear will overwhelm the country's public safety resources.

Former President Donald Trump built his presidency around hard-line policies that expanded and fortified border walls, made it tougher for people fleeing drug violence and other desperate circumstances in Mexico and Central America to seek U.S. asylum and separated immigrant families.

Biden has tried to seize political momentum on the issue by promising a more humane and orderly system, but his administration has struggled to cope with rising numbers of migrants coming to the border, especially unaccompanied children.

The sheriffs from 39 states who signed the letter and refer to themselves as "America's Sheriffs" said Trump and Barack Obama "recognized the threats and dangers represented by illegal immigration" and urged Biden to as well.

"You must act now before our nation’s public safety resources are overwhelmed with the criminal side effects of unchecked illegal immigration, including transnational gangs, guns, dangerous drugs and human trafficking," the letter says.

The sheriffs said that by changing policy Biden "unleashed a predictable crisis upon our nation that puts those we promised to protect at risk of grave danger," which started when work on the border wall stopped.

They said Biden's policy encourages lawlessness and the victimization of the people of the United States "all in the name of mass illegal immigration."

Cape May County Sheriff Robert Nolan, Hunterdon County Sheriff Frederick Brown and Salem County Sheriff Charles Miller signed the letter. The position of sheriff is an elected office in New Jersey.

"There are real threats with the surge of immigrants coming across the border and because our Customs and Border personnel are overwhelmed, the potential for increases in violence, trafficking, disease and drugs coming through to this country, which threatens neighborhoods and residents along those areas." Brown told New Jersey 101.5 in a statement. "I believe that we need to stand together, as Law Enforcement Officers, and ask for the safety and security of our nation to be put first."

In a statement to the Press of Atlantic City, Cape May Nolan said Biden's policy pose a danger to county residents as well.

In July, a judge tossed a lawsuit filed by Nolan and the all-Republican Ocean County government challenging policy by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal prohibiting New Jersey law enforcement from cooperating with ICE.

Nolan and Miller on Thursday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's requests for additional comment on their support of the letter.

(Includes material copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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