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TX Gov. Abbott issues disaster declaration over border crisis; says Biden policies allow gangs, cartels, traffickers into US

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday, June 22, 2020. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman/TNS)
June 02, 2021

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration Monday due to the ongoing crisis along the state’s southern border with Mexico in an effort to provide more resources to combat the influx of illegal immigrants.

According to Abbott’s declaration, the governor is directing the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to enforce federal and state criminal laws, including trespassing, smuggling and human trafficking. The state’s legislature recently allocated an additional $1 billion for DPS border efforts.

Under the order, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission must also move to discontinue state licensure of childcare facilities being used under federal government contracts to shelter or detail 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,” Abbott said in a statement Tuesday.

“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,” he continued. “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.”

In his declaration, Abbott noted that Texas DPS has “made over 1,300 criminal arrests, apprehended over 35,000 illegal migrants and seized over 10,000 pounds of drugs and over 100 firearms” since early March, adding that law enforcement intercepted “21.5 million lethal doses of fentanyl,” between January and April.

“Texas continues to step up to confront the border crisis in the federal government’s absence, but more must be done,” Abbot said.

“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.”

In late May, Abbott also announced the state was creating a new criminal offense for the manufacture and delivery of fentanyl.

“It’s clear that Biden’s open border policies are unleashing deadly consequences right here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” Abbott told reporters at the time, according to the New York Post.