MISSION, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and 10 other state governors held a news conference in Mission, Texas, on Wednesday concerning the recent surge of migrants at the border.
Abbott was joined by Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, Texas Military Department Brigadier General Monie R. Ulis, and National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd.
After thousands of Haitian migrants gathered underneath the International Bridge in Del Rio in mid-September, the Biden Administration coordinated flights to fly the migrants back to their home countries. At one point, more than 14,000 people were gathered under the bridge. More than 200 law enforcement and government agencies worked to address the issue.
Abbott started the press conference by addressing the school shooting that happened in Arlington, Texas Wednesday morning. Abbott said a fight broke out that led to the shooter shooting several people.
Following the shooting, Abbott switched gears and said President Biden was the cause of the humanitarian crisis at the border.
"All Americans saw exactly what happened in Del Rio, Texas, just last month. And we know that chaos will be repeated unless and until President Biden takes action," Abbott said. "26 of America's governors have worked together to develop specific actions that Biden can take immediately to end the crisis on the border that he has caused."
Three of those actions were:
- Must require asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while they wait for their court hearing.
- Must finish securing the border which includes finishing the border wall.
- Must enforce title 42 health restrictions at the border.
Abbott then mentioned the 10 actions Texas has taken to address the situation at the border:
- Abbott said he signed laws providing $3 billion of Texas taxpayer money for Texas to secure the border.
- He said he deployed National Guard and Texas DPS troopers and officers to secure the border.
- A system was created to arrest and jail illegal immigrants who are trespassing in Texas.
- Abbott said he signed a budget approval and provided the authorization to build a border wall in Texas.
- He said he signed a law to make it easier to prosecute smugglers who are bringing illegal immigrants into Texas.
- He said he signed nine laws cracking down on human trafficking in Texas.
- He said he signed a law that creates a new crime for the manufacturer or distribution of fentanyl.
- He said he declared a disaster for border counties suffering from the surge of migrants.
- He said he issued an executive order to prevent nonprofit government organizations from transporting illegal immigrants in Texas.
- Texas took legal action to enforce the remain in Mexico policy
"What the governor has done now is taken us from a reactive position and put us in a proactive position," said Texas DPS Steve McCraw
McCraw said Texas cannot wait around for action to be taken.
"We can't wait for Washington to do it; we don't need their permission to protect Texas," McCraw said.
Gov. Abbott was joined by the following governors:
- Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey
- Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp
- Idaho Gov. Brad Little
- Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds
- Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte
- Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts
- Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
- Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt
- South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem
- Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon