Governor Abbott Urges Nation’s Governors To Help Combat Border Crisis

May 16, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today urged the nation’s Governors to help support Texas’ unprecedented border security efforts in the wake of President Joe Biden ending Title 42 last week and his continued refusal to enforce federal immigration laws. In letters sent to each of his fellow Governors, Governor Abbott requested support in responding to the ongoing border crisis through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which enables states to provide assistance and share resources with another state in response to a disaster or emergency.

“The flood of illegal border activity invited by the Biden Administration flows directly across the southern border into Texas communities, but this crisis does not stop in our state,” reads the letter. “In the federal government’s absence, we, as Governors, must band together to combat President Biden’s ongoing border crisis and ensure the safety and security that all Americans deserve. The Emergency Management Assistance Compact empowers states to provide assistance to one another in times of disaster or emergency, both of which accurately describe the current border crisis. Join us in the mission to defend our national sovereignty and territorial integrity and send all available law enforcement personnel and resources to the Texas-Mexico border to serve alongside our thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers.”

In his letters, Governor Abbott highlighted the Texas taxpayer dollars the State of Texas has already allocated for border security operations along the Texas-Mexico border and requested his fellow Governors also help provide funding for their state’s border security response. Texas has spent more than $4.5 billion since 2021 on critical border security operations, with the Texas Legislature currently looking to fund an additional $4.6 billion for the next two years. However, the Governor noted that Texas should not have to shoulder the financial burden of protecting our nation alone.

Governor Abbott also thanked the states of Idaho and Florida, which have recently stepped up to offer assistance in securing the southern border with law enforcement support and assets.

Read Governor Abbott’s letter to America’s Governors.

Governor Abbott has taken unprecedented action to secure the border in the wake of the federal government’s inaction, including:

  • Securing $4 billion in funding for Texas' border security efforts
  • Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers
  • Deploying the new Texas Tactical Border Force for targeted responses to intercept and repel illegal crossings at hotspots along the border
  • Hiring Texas' first-ever Border Czar to oversee border security
  • Taking aggressive action to aid border communities, including busing thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia
  • Designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations to keep Texans safe amid the growing national fentanyl crisis
  • Arresting and jailing criminals trespassing or committing other state crimes along the southern border
  • Issuing an executive order authorizing the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to return illegal immigrants to the border at ports of entry
  • Allocating resources to acquire 1,700 unused steel panels to build the border wall in Texas
  • Signing a law to make it easier to prosecute smugglers bringing people into Texas
  • Signing 15 laws cracking down on human trafficking in Texas
  • Signing a law enhancing penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl
  • Issuing a disaster declaration for the border crisis
  • Activating the Joint Border Security Operations Center (JBSOC) and directing the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Military Department, and Texas Division of Emergency Management to coordinate Texas’ response to secure the border

Read more on additional actions taken by the Governor to secure the border.