Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Thursday that he has immediate plans to build border barriers along the state’s border with Mexico in an effort to assist law enforcement apprehensions of immigrants attempting to cross into the United States illegally.
“President Biden’s open-border policies have led to a humanitarian crisis at our southern border as record levels of illegal immigrants, drugs, and contraband pour into Texas,” Abbott said. “While securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows.”
Abbott said the state will immediately begin construction on barriers in easily accessible and unsecured areas like Del Rio.
“The influx across the border is out of control, and the Biden Administration has shown that is not going to step up and do its job,” Abbott told Breitbart exclusively prior to a border summit on Thursday. “And amidst reports of even more people coming in across the border, we know we have to step up and do more.”
Customs and Border Patrol statistics revealed that the Del Rio Sector saw 27,890 illegal immigrant apprehensions in May this year, a 1,118 percent increase from the same period last year.
“The reason why we are here (Del Rio) is because of the massive increase,” Abbott stated, noting that unlawful border crossings were once “concentrated in the Rio Grande Valley. “Now, you know we’re upstream from the Rio Grande Valley in the Del Rio Sector and the Del Rio sector is suffering from some of the largest increases.”
Abbott said local residents are reporting “a lot of very bad dangerous people” coming into Texas illegally.
“They’re seeing a lot of very bad dangerous people come across the border,” Abbott said. “People that they are afraid of encountering, people who are causing damage to their fences, their livestock, their crops, their neighborhoods, and their homes.”
“Bad things are happening around here, and so they need help from the state to help them address this exploding crisis,” he continued.
Abbott said the Biden administration seems to be “welcoming these people into the United States,” but that Texas won’t send the same message. He said Texas will use it authority under a State of Emergency to ramp up enforcement of laws along the border.
“If you come to Texas, you’re subject to being arrested. You’re not going to have a pathway to roam the country,” Abbott said. “You’re going to have a pathway directly into a jail cell.”
“We want to be very aggressive in working with local officials and begin making mass arrests,” he continued. “In working in collaboration with a large number of counties — that means we’re going to be arresting a lot more people.”
Abbott acknowledged the increase in apprehensions will necessitate additional jail space, and he has partnered with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to seek assistance from governors nationwide with the crisis.
“With your help, we can apprehend more of these perpetrators of state and federal crimes before they can cause problems in your state,” the governors said. “Texas and Arizona have stepped up to secure the border in the federal government’s absence, and now, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact gives your State a chance to stand strong with us.”
Abbott said he predicts a “high level of participation,” adding, “The immigration issue and the border issue is not just the number one issue of Texas, it’s the number one issue in America. And so all of these other governors, they hear the same concerns that we hear about in Texas.”
Abbott said Texas is going to do whatever it can to secure the border, but “in the end, only the federal government and Congress can fix this.”
“…but as it stands right now, the state of Texas is going to step up and we’re going to start making arrests — sending a message to anybody thinking about coming here, you’re not going to get a free pass to the U.S. They’re getting a straight pass to a jail cell,” he concluded.