Governor Abbott To President Biden: Texas Is Escalating Border Security Efforts

November 16, 2022 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today sent a letter to President Joe Biden highlighting the record-breaking level of illegal immigration at America’s southern border caused by the President’s sustained dereliction of duty enforcing the nation’s immigration laws. Prior to President Biden taking office, America had some of the lowest illegal-immigration totals seen in decades, however, over the past year-and-a-half that volume has skyrocketed to more than 2 million immigrants trying to enter the country illegally. The Governor notes that the federal government’s failure to execute America’s immigration laws has forced the State of Texas to protect its own territory against invasion by the Mexican drug cartels and mass illegal immigration.

“You must reinstate the policies that you eliminated, or craft and implement new policies, in order to fulfill your constitutional duty to enforce federal immigration laws and protect the States against invasion,” reads the letter. “Two years of inaction on your part now leave Texas with no choice but to escalate our efforts to secure our State. Your open-border policies, which have catalyzed an unprecedented crisis of illegal immigration, are the sole cause of Texas having to invoke our constitutional authority to defend ourselves.”

The Governor’s letter outlines America’s current immigration laws the President must enforce to satisfy the federal government's constitutional obligation to safeguard its citizens, including:

  • Aggressively prosecuting illegal entry and illegal reentry.
  • Complying with laws mandating that various categories of aliens “shall” be detained.
  • Stopping parole for aliens en masse in violation of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
  • Fully reinstating the Migrant Protection Protocols, such that aliens seeking admission remain in Mexico while proceedings unfold in the United States.
  • Immediately resuming construction of the border wall in Texas, using the billions of dollars Congress has appropriated for that purpose.

Earlier today, Governor Abbott also ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Texas Military Department (TMD) to escalate their unprecedented efforts to secure the Texas-Mexico border. In a letter to DPS Director Steve McCraw and TMD Adjutant General Thomas Suelzer, the Governor outlined the need for the Operation Lone Star partners to defend Texas against what amounts to an invasion of America's southern border. Today’s letter follows a letter on Monday the Governor sent to Texas county judges explaining his Executive Order that invokes the Invasion Clauses of the U.S. and Texas Constitutions to fully authorize the unprecedented actions Texas is taking to secure the border amid an all-time record for illegal immigration.

Read Governor Abbott’s letter to President Biden.

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
  • Taking aggressive action to aid border communities, including busing thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia
  • 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
  • Creating DPS vehicle inspection checkpoints targeting semi-trucks and other commercial motor vehicles that cross the border and potentially pose a danger on our roads.

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