Governor Abbott Honors Brave Border Sheriffs Securing Border In McAllen

April 17, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today honored the brave men and women serving as sheriffs along the southern border at the Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition Annual Spring Cooperative Meeting with the Southwestern Border Sheriff's Coalition in McAllen. During his remarks, the Governor thanked the border sheriffs for their many contributions to Texans’ public safety, including stepping up in the Biden Administration’s absence to protect the nation from the record number of deadly drugs like fentanyl, lethal weapons, and illegal immigrants flooding across the border.

“To serve as a sheriff is to answer a higher calling, and each of you show true courage, dedication, and a strong desire to protect your fellow man,” said Governor Abbott. “I am proud of the work we have done together to secure our border in this bipartisan coalition. The Biden Administration may not believe our border is in crisis right now, but we set aside political differences to help our border communities and Texans. Thank you for your hard work securing the border and battling the deadly scourge of fentanyl gripping our state and nation.”

Speaking to the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition and the Southwestern Border Sheriff's Coalition, Governor Abbott highlighted proposed legislation this session that would provide $350 million to help fund rural sheriff operations and bolster funding for public safety grants to counties participating in Operation Lone Star.

The Governor also pointed out recent statewide efforts to combat the growing fentanyl crisis impacting Texas and the United States resulting from President Joe Biden’s open border policies. In addition to designating border security and combatting the fentanyl crisis as emergency items for the 88th Legislative Session, Governor Abbott mentioned his One Pill Kills Summit in Austin earlier this month, where he announced a new $10 million public awareness initiative to educate Texans on the dangers of fentanyl and a statewide distribution of life-saving Narcan to each of Texas’ 254 county sheriffs.

The Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition and the Southwestern Border Sheriff's Coalition were organized to assist sheriffs, whose counties are within 25 miles of the border between the United States of America and the Republic of Mexico, with the protection of lives and enforcement of laws in the region.

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
  • 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
  • Issuing an executive order preventing non-governmental entities from transporting illegal immigrants
  • Signing memoranda of understanding between the State of Texas and the States of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to enhance border security measures in their states 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

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