Governor Greg Abbott will deploy 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to assist the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol with what he called an escalating humanitarian crisis at the southern border, according to a Friday news release from the governor’s office.
In the past three weeks alone, more than 45,000 individuals from 52 different countries have been apprehended illegally crossing the border into Texas, the release states.
“The crisis at our southern border is unlike anything we’ve witnessed before and has put an enormous strain on the existing resources we have in place,” said Governor Abbott. “With the deployment of these troops, we are taking action to confront the crisis at the border and keep potentially dangerous criminals and illegal activity out of our communities. By working together with our federal partners, we will continue to pursue a strong and comprehensive strategy to secure our border.”
In the coming weeks, DHS will establish holding facilities in the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso for single adults entering the country illegally, the release states. The Texas National Guard troops will provide supplemental staffing support at the temporary holding facilities as well as supplemental enforcement support at ports of entry. These combined efforts will help alleviate the humanitarian crisis on our border as well as increase security for Texas communities.
“The massive increase in illegal immigration — on pace to exceed a million people this year— has been an emergency for months and Texas must continue to do everything we can to help secure our border, including deploying these additional troops,” Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick stated in the release. “Texas communities along the border and throughout the state are struggling to deal with this huge increase. Our health care system and schools are stretched to the breaking point and cost increases on everything from temporary shelter and policing to street cleaning have been astronomical. Governor Abbott, Speaker Bonnen and I are agreed that we must work with our federal partners and act now.”
“As a longtime advocate for border security, I support today’s announcement as yet another example of Texas stepping up and filling in the gaps where the federal government has fallen short,” said Speaker Dennis Bonnen. “I have worked with Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, and lawmakers in past legislative sessions to secure our border and ensure the safety of our citizens, and will continue to support measures to do so as we call on Washington to fulfill their duty to protect our citizens.”
The federal government will pay for 100 percent of the costs associated with this short-term mission.