Governor Abbott Expands Border Security Operations
Governor Greg Abbott today announced the expansion of the state’s border security operations by creating Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) strike teams, establishing new vehicle inspection checkpoints targeting semi-trucks, and the deployment of additional resources from the Texas Military Department to mitigate President Biden's growing border crisis. Following a briefing in Eagle Pass with state and local officials, the Governor was joined at a press conference by DPS Director Steve McCraw, Adjutant General of Texas Maj. Gen. Thomas Suelzer, Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber, Eagle Pass Police Chief Federico Garza, and other local officials.
During remarks, the Governor outlined ways Operation Lone Star agency partners are adding more resources and implementing strategies to secure all land owned or controlled by state and local governments along the border. Governor Abbott announced that DPS is deploying strike teams, each consisting of 20 troopers, to the Eagle Pass region to detect and deter unlawful border crossings and apprehend illegal immigrants. Additional strike teams will be deployed to high traffic crossing areas as needed. In response to the tragic deaths of dozens of migrants being smuggled inside a semi-truck earlier this week, the Governor also announced that DPS will be implementing new vehicle inspection checkpoints targeting semi-trucks beginning immediately. The Governor added that the Texas Military Department will be deploying more razor wire along the Rio Grande, adding more miles of fencing and barriers on state and local property, and deploying additional boat teams.
"President Biden needs to focus on addressing the humanitarian crisis his reckless leadership has created at the border, instead of attacking the jobs of hardworking Texans and oil production in the Permian Basin," said Governor Abbott. "The Lone Star State will not sit idly by as the federal government chooses to ignore the historic number of illegal crossings, human smuggling, and drug trafficking of deadly fentanyl from Mexico into the United States. Our government has no greater responsibility than to provide public safety to its citizens. Until President Biden decides to uphold immigration laws passed by Congress, the State of Texas will continue utilizing every tool available to secure the border and keep Texans – and Americans – safe."
Governor Abbott has taken significant action to secure the border in the wake of the federal government’s inaction. Those actions include:
- Securing $4 billion in funding for Texas' border security efforts
- Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers
- Arresting and jailing illegal migrants trespassing or committing other state crimes in Texas
- Allocating resources that include acquiring 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
- Issuing an executive order preventing non-governmental entities from transporting illegal immigrants
- Taking legal action to enforce the Remain in Mexico policy
- Taking aggressive action to secure the border as President Biden ends Title 42 expulsions, including busing migrants to Washington, D.C.
- Signing memoranda of understanding between the State of Texas and the States of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to enhance border security measures that will prevent illegal immigration from Mexico to Texas
- 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