SAN ANTONIO — Governor Greg Abbott was in the Texas border community of Eagle Pass Wednesday afternoon to provide an update on border security, less than two days after San Antonio authorities responded to an abandoned semitruck and the deadliest human-smuggling event in U.S. history.
Abbott was joined by Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and Texas Maj. Gen. Thomas Suelzer, head of the state's National Guard forces.
In his remarks, Abbott expressed his sadness over the incident.
"We saw this horrendous death occur in a truck in San Antonio this week and it is heartbreaking," Abbott said. "It is now reported that 53 people died in that truck. It’s the deadliest migrant incident on record."
Like he did in a tweet Monday, Abbott continued to blame the Biden administation for the dangerous conditions migrants face at the border.
"Because of the way the Biden administation is not enforcing immigration laws, it is enticing people to make this dangerous trek," Abbott said.
It is reported that the truck involved in Monday night's deadly incident had closed identification numbers, probably allowing it to go through check points more easily. Governor Abbott said he is implementing a policy to prevent those situations.
"I am announcing that Texas is going to add additional truck checkpoints. DPS will create and implement a checkpoint strategy beginning immediately," Abbott said. "We will have a better capability to stop future trucks like that."
The governor also said he will take add on to some of the current measures he has in place as part of his border mission, Operation Lone Star.
"We are creating two strike teams...the DPS is creating two strike teams to deter unlawful crossings," Abbott said. "Each team will consist of 20 troopers...they will be deployed to high traffic areas as needed"
The governor was last at the border less than two weeks ago, where he and other public safety officials provided strategic and logistical updates pertaining to his ongoing Operation Lone Star mission, now stretching into its second summer despite lawsuits and scrutiny over its effectiveness.
After 46 people were found dead in an overheated trailer on a hot south Texas night on Monday, Abbott took to Twitter to blame President Joe Biden, calling the tragedy "a result of his deadly open border policies." In the press release announcing his Wednesday visit to the border, Abbott's office explicitly referred to the situation as "President Biden's growing border crisis."
In a statement released Tuesday, Biden appeared to indirectly respond to the criticism from Abbott and other Republicans, saying, "exploiting vulnerable individuals for profit is shameful, as is political grandstanding around tragedy."
The death toll in the deadly San Antonio smuggling event stands at 51 as of Tuesday night.
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