Office of the Governor - Greg Abbott

Governor Abbott Urges DHS To Provide Additional Border Security Resources

Wednesday, September 30, 2015  •  Austin, Texas  •  Press Release
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Following recent U.S. Border Patrol reports, Governor Greg Abbott today sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson requesting immediate action due to the significant increase of illegal border crossings. The reports state that nearly 10,000 immigrant families and unaccompanied children were detained after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in August, an increase of more than 50 percent over August 2014.

“Texas will continue to be assertive in securing our border,” writes Governor Abbott. “But given recent reports that our southern border has become more porous—not less, it is clearer than ever that the federal government must act to reverse the tide of this mounting crisis.”

Saying that this trend substantially strains state resources to deal with the health, education and welfare costs, Governor Abbott urged the federal government to provide the following resources immediately:

• 250 additional Border Patrol agents to be assigned to Texas;
• Five additional aerostats to vastly improve law enforcement’s strategic information about and response to often-violent cross-border smuggling activity;
• A listing of the conditions under which individuals will be released to relatives or to private organizations in Texas communities, to include screening procedures, and into what agencies’ or entities’ custody the individuals will be released and under what premise will they be kept;
• Continued Federal diligence and partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of Justice, and the State of Texas in maintaining the detention capabilities of the two detention centers in Texas.

To view the full letter, click here.