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Texas deploys special border force to defend US border against anticipated migrant surge

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on June 22, 2020. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman/TNS)
May 08, 2023

On Monday, Texas deployed a special border force to support law enforcement efforts along the U.S.-Mexico border as the state braces for a migrant surge triggered by the end of Title 42, which Gov. Greg Abbott warned will cause a “catastrophic disaster.” Title 42 is a Trump-era public health policy that helped stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

During a press conference in Austin, Gov. Abbott announced the new specially trained National Guard Unit called the Texas Tactical Border Force.

“Right now as we are speaking, the Texas National Guard is loading Blackhawk helicopters and C130s, deploying specially trained National Guard members for the Texas Tactical Border Force. They will be deployed to hot spots along the border to intercept to repel and to turn back migrants who are trying to enter Texas illegally,” Abbott said.

Earlier this month, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) warned Mexican cartels are preparing to flood the United States’ southern border with between 700,000 and one million illegal immigrants when Title 42 is lifted in an effort to overwhelm U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Rep. Biggs said the CBP does not have enough resources or personnel to “keep them in detention and processing facilities.”

“When those facilities get full…they’re going to just take pictures. They’re not even going to do full on processing. They’re going to take pictures. If we’re lucky fingerprints, [but] probably not even that,” Biggs warned. “And then they’re going to release them right into the local communities along the border.”

“It will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” Biggs added.

Biggs said CBP officials are telling locals, “I’m sorry. You’re screwed.”

The Biden administration is also preparing to deploy 1,500 active-duty troops to the border, according to Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder.

“At the request of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Austin approved a temporary Department of Defense (DoD) increase of an additional 1,500 military personnel to supplement U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) efforts on the U.S. Southwest Border,” Ryder said in a statement.

“For 90 days, these 1,500 military personnel will fill critical capability gaps, such as ground-based detection and monitoring, data entry, and warehouse support, until CBP can address these needs through contracted support,” his statement added. “Military personnel will not directly participate in law enforcement activities. This deployment to the border is consistent with other forms of military support to DHS over many years.”