Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sounded the alarm on the southern border crisis, which he characterized as an “extraordinary challenge” and a “national crisis” during an address delivered in New York City on Thursday.
Mr. Abbott’s remarks, made at an event hosted in the heart of Manhattan, a self-declared sanctuary city, emphasized the need for immediate federal action to address the surge in illegal immigration at the U.S.–Mexico border.
He reiterated his argument that the Biden administration’s policies were making it unsustainable.
“We as a nation are facing an extraordinary challenge, quite literally a national crisis, as we gather in New York today,” Mr. Abbott said at an event hosted by the Manhattan Institute. “There are ways in which Texas is stopping people from illegally entering, but the Biden Administration wants those people to come in.”
“This is unsustainable, and those are the words of your Mayor,” he continued, referring to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who warned earlier this month that the illegal immigration crisis will “destroy” his city.
More than 110,000 illegal immigrants have come to New York City from the southern border since the spring of 2022, with about 60,000 currently remaining in the city’s care, according to the mayor. Mr. Adams lamented that he doesn’t see an end to the problem as the city struggles to cope.
The Texas governor emphasized that these concerns are shared by the leaders of other sanctuary jurisdictions, such as the mayors of Chicago and Los Angeles.
“What’s going on is unsustainable,” Mr. Abbott added. “It’s a crisis that’s chaotic and must stop.”
2.3 Million Illegal Border Crossers Caught
Since 2021, Texas has witnessed more than 2.3 million apprehensions of individuals crossing the border illegally. Mr. Abbott revealed that for each person apprehended, many others successfully evaded detection, highlighting the scale of the issue.
The governor attributed the crisis to policy changes made after President Joe Biden took office. These changes included ending the “Remain in Mexico” policy and the cessation of Title 42 policy.
The Texas governor criticized the lack of enforcement of immigration laws, highlighting the “notice to appear” system as an example. He argued that around 90 percent of people who receive these notices never show up for their asylum hearings, essentially disappearing within the United States.
To combat the crisis, Texas initiated “Operation Lone Star,” deploying thousands of Texas National Guard members and state troopers to the border. The operation has led to almost 450,000 apprehensions, nearly 35,000 criminal arrests, and the seizure of a substantial quantity of fentanyl, amounting to enough to pose a grave threat to the nation.
Additionally, Texas has transported tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to various sanctuary cities and other jurisdictions, including New York City. Mr. Abbott acknowledged the strain this placed on communities ill-equipped to accommodate large numbers of unexpected migrants.
Recently, New York City has been seeing up to 10,000 illegal immigrants arriving per day, mostly Venezuelans, Ecuadorians, Russian-speaking individuals, and even Western Africans, the mayor said.
“We’re getting people from all over the globe that have made their minds up that they’re going to come through the southern part of the border and come to New York City,” Mr. Adams said at a town hall meeting earlier this month.
Situation at Breaking Point: Abbott
The Texas governor emphasized the urgent need for stronger border security measures while expressing his disappointment with the current state of affairs. Mr. Abbott argued that the situation at the border has reached a breaking point and insisted that immediate action is required.
“While we are waiting on a President who is going to enforce the laws—not even pass new laws—that are currently on the books, Texas is going to continue to use every tool we can to secure the border in the best way that we can,” Mr. Abbott said.
The governor’s comments echoed the concerns of several local and state leaders who have struggled to cope with the influx of illegal immigrants arriving in their sanctuary cities, needing to be housed and supported at great expense. New York City’s mayor has also described the situation there as unsustainable.
Mr. Abbott also underscored the unsustainability of the current situation closer to home, citing the chaos it brings to border towns such as Eagle Pass, where a population of 28,000 saw more than 10,000 illegal immigrants in just one week.
While addressing questions about the strain on resources caused by Operation Lone Star, Mr. Abbott acknowledged the challenges faced by Texas in managing the influx while also ensuring public services could meet the needs of legal residents.
Mr. Abbott called for a restoration of the rule of law and strict enforcement of immigration laws, asserting that Texas would continue using every available tool to secure the border until federal action is taken to address the crisis.
From The Epoch Times