Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a disaster declaration in counties in the state that are alongside the southern border, citing an increase in illegal immigration.
The declaration, which was issued on Tuesday, applies to 34 counties along Texas’ border with Mexico. It authorizes all available state sources to help state and local law enforcement to protect Texas residents from trespassing, smuggling, property damage, and human trafficking.
Abbott ordered the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to work with border counties and expand capacity, if necessary, or establish alternative detention facilities. He also asked the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to end licenses for child care facilities that detain or shelter illegal immigrants under a federal contract.
Abbott’s statement: The Texas governor slammed President Joe Biden in a statement, blaming his policies for the “ongoing surge” of illegal immigrants at the southern border. He also criticized what he said was the administration’s lack of effort to protect Americans who are targeted by illegal immigrants.
“President Biden’s open-border policies have paved the way for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to pour into our communities. Meanwhile, landowners along the border are seeing their property damaged and vandalized on a daily basis while the Biden Administration does nothing to protect them,” Abbott said.
“Texas continues to step up to confront the border crisis in the federal government’s absence, but more must be done. By declaring a state of disaster in these counties, Texas will have more resources and strategies at our disposal to protect landowners and enforce all federal and state laws to combat criminal activities stemming from the border crisis. Working together with local law enforcement, the state will continue to take robust and meaningful action to keep our communities safe,” he added.
Shortly after, Abbott issued a second announcement, revealing in a tweet that former President Trump endorsed his gubernatorial re-election campaign.
In his statement, Trump called Abbott a “fighter” and said, “[n]o Governor has done more to secure the border and keep our communities safe.” He called the state a “job-creating machine.”
“I am proud of the work we’ve done together to secure our border,” Abbott said in a statement thanking the former president.
Worth noting: The Biden administration has blamed its predecessor for the border crisis, which they refused to label as such, and the “root causes” in Central America.
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