Living up to its moniker as the Lone Star State, Texas is plugging holes in the border with local and state law enforcement to clamp down on illegal immigration. In an afternoon news conference Sept. 21, Governor Greg Abbott railed against the Biden administration’s inaction and said handcuffs and jail await those who dare an illegal crossing.
In scathing remarks, Abbott said Joe Biden set the stage for the current disaster during the presidential campaign, adding, “What the world is witnessing now is the open border policies being utilized by the Biden Administration. It attracts people from across the entire globe, including people from more than 150 different countries.”
A determined Abbott insisted the current crisis in his state could not be allowed to continue. Citing public safety, humanitarian concerns, and national security, the governor outlined several ways the state would combat the emergency – with the primary goal of ensuring the safety of its people.
To alleviate the dire situation near Del Rio, where thousands of illegals are languishing in unsanitary and unsafe conditions, local officials lined up dozens of Texas Department of Public Safety vehicles on the border along with some from the National Guard. Abbott called the miles of law enforcement cars “a steel barrier preventing people from being able to cross the border.” He maintained that “one day people were streaming into the country, and in an instant, people stopped crossing once they saw the steel barrier of authorities. That strategy,” exclaimed Abbott, “is working.”
The next step the Lone Star State is employing is to arrest and jail those coming illegally into the United States who trespass on private or public land. In a shot across the bow, the governor said, “It’s not the catch and release policy of the Biden Administration” but rather the “arrest and jail policy” that will send a message to these folks, and anybody else thinking about coming, that they will face handcuffs should they try to enter Texas illegally and “will be going straight to jail.”
Abbott’s news conference featured local officials, including the mayor, sheriff, and county judge, perhaps sending a message to federal officials not to mess with their methods for dealing with the growing national security calamity and human tragedy. He also said several state legislators were on hand, and their help was essential in providing state authorities with an “unprecedented 3 billion dollars” in emergency funds.
The Republican governor said he knows that the illegal wave of humanity is now trying to move away from the Del Rio area. This, he claimed, will be countered by shifting Texas law enforcement and guardsmen to other areas of the state as needed. According to AP, however, “Many of the thousands have been released into the country with notices to appear at an immigration court within 60 days.”
Brandon Judd, who serves as president of the National Border Patrol Council, also took the microphone for a short time. In his brief but impassioned remarks, Judd said:
“If we don’t ask the question, why are we here, what caused this, we won’t fix this problem. The simple answer is catch and release. As long as we invite people to violate our laws, as long as we reward them for entering the country illegally and then releasing them into the United States, with a de facto immigration status, to where they can get work permits, to where they can send their children to school, where they have every right of a United States citizen, they’re going to continue to come.”
Judd insisted that the federal government was warned on June 17 of an illegal immigrant wave “headed toward Texas,” and requests were made for temporary processing shelters. “They ignored it,” he bellowed.
Following official remarks, Abbott was queried by the media about the recent deportation of Haitians by federal officials. “The flights going out are the flights being conducted by the Biden Administration. Candidly, there’s been nothing but confusion and shifting stories about where they’re flying them from, where they’re flying them to, how many they are flying out. So that’s a constantly changing story that only the Biden Administration can venture to tell you.”
It is estimated that for the current fiscal year – which has not ended – more than 1.5 million illegal crossings have occurred. As of this writing, just over 9,000 illegals remain under the bridge near Del Rio, TX. Abbott’s press conference clearly signaled that Texas is finished playing in the same sandbox with the Biden administration and has enough law enforcement officials, strategies, and funds to turn the tide of the current immigration crisis in their state.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.