Governors Abbott, Noem, Pillen, Reynolds, Stitt Band Together To Secure Border

August 21, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference in Eagle Pass with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to provide an update on their joint efforts under Texas' Operation Lone Star to respond to President Joe Biden's reckless open border policies.

"These Governors here with me today are deploying military and law enforcement officers to help Texas secure the border," said Governor Abbott. "We have 14 Governors who are deploying personnel to secure the border that President Biden has abandoned. President Biden is not doing his job, and he is responsible for the largest amount of illegal immigration in the history of the United States and has rolled out a deadly welcome mat with a record number of people dying attempting to cross the border. There is a reason the United Nations has named the border between the United States and Mexico the deadliest land border in the entire world. President Biden is responsible for that deadly border, and we're not going to stand idly by. We, as states, share an obligation and that's to step up and address this unparalleled catastrophe caused by President Biden."

"Texas is ground zero, front and center of the border crisis," said Governor Reynolds. "On day 1 of the Biden Administration, they reversed policies that protect the sovereignty of this country and its citizens. Iowa is located at the intersection of two major interstates, and it is a pathway for Mexican cartels and humans traffickers in the Midwest. I thank the 14 other Governors who have stepped up to do the job that President Biden has failed to do. It is time for the President to do his job."

"President Biden continues to let the crisis at the border go unchecked, and it is growing," said Governor Pillen. "This is a national security issue that must be addressed. We stand with Governor Abbott as his state works daily to halt the influx of illegal drugs, weapons, and criminals into the U.S."

"What we're literally witnessing is a war zone, and it is astonishing to witness our President allow this to happen," said Governor Noem. "The cartels are out for blood, and they are facilitating the trafficking of our children every day. These policies are inhumane of what they're doing to people and these families. This country needs to realize that our President breaks the law and ignores the law. I thank Governor Abbott for all that he's done to fight this fight. I'm all in helping support Operation Lone Star."

"The chaotic scenes at the southern border are a stark reminder of the consequences of disastrous open border policies," said Governor Stitt. "The Biden Administration is asleep at the wheel. Make no mistake, every state has become a border state, but I’m encouraged by my fellow Republican Governors who are stepping up to secure the border. It is essential that we protect our communities by supporting our law enforcement and putting a stop to the flow of illegal drugs pouring into our nation."

The Governor was also joined at the press conference by DPS Director Steve McCraw, Texas Adjutant General Major General Thomas Suelzer, and Texas Border Czar Mike Banks.

Prior to the press conference, Governor Abbott held a border security briefing with his fellow Governors where they received updates from Director McCraw, Major General Suelzer, and Border Czar Banks on the multitude of effective strategies used by Operation Lone Star to secure the border, including Texas' floating marine barriers installed in the Rio Grande River. 

During the briefing, Governor Abbott thanked the Governors for their support in Texas' Operation Lone Star border security mission and highlighted the value of their states' resources being used to secure the border and curtail the influx of illegal immigration, dangerous weapons, and deadly drugs like fentanyl coming into Texas from Mexico.

Director McCraw outlined the success of Operation Lone Star's border security efforts, noting that just DPS alone has seized over 426 million lethal doses of deadly fentanyl—enough to kill every man, woman, and child in America. He also highlighted the importance of state law enforcement along the border, pointing to their critical role in supporting Border Patrol agents as the first line of defense against surges of illegal immigration between ports of entry.

Major General Suelzer provided an update on Texas’ and other states' National Guard soldiers’ efforts to hold the line, install strategic barriers, and turn back migrants along the Texas-Mexico border. Specifically, Major General Suelzer described soldiers' significance to help push out illegal activity from El Paso by installing 18 miles of concertina wire in the area and noted that turnbacks have gone up 38 percent with the help of other states. 

Border Czar Banks thanked the other Governors for their support in Operation Lone Star's border security efforts and reminded them that Texas knows that border security means national security for the rest of the country. He also corrected claims made about Texas' floating marine barriers, explaining their efficacy as deterrents for illegal, unsafe crossings from Mexico into Texas.

Today's border visit comes after Governor Abbott sent letters to America's Governors in May requesting support for Texas’ border security mission following President Biden's decision to end Title 42.

As of today, 14 other states—including Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming—have stepped up to support Texas' efforts and deployed personnel and resources to secure the border in President Biden's absence.