Gov. Abbott: ‘There Is a Crisis on the Texas Border Right Now’

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
March 9, 2021US News
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Disputing claims by the Biden administration about the situation at the southern border, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that the situation has developed into a crisis.

“There is a crisis on the Texas border right now, with the overwhelming number of people who are coming across the border,” Abbott, a Republican, told reporters after flying over the region and meeting with public safety and National Guard officials.

The governor blamed President Joe Biden’s immigration policies, saying they invite illegal immigration and are contributing to the crisis, which “will grow increasingly worse by the day.”

Biden rescinding former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which forced asylum seekers to wait outside the United States while their claims were adjudicated, is one example, Abbott said.

“The Border Patrol told me that they did inform the Biden administration and let them know that this influx was coming. So it’s not as if the Biden administration didn’t know about it. And it’s not as if they didn’t have time to get prepared for it. But it is clear, they are completely unprepared for what is going on at the border now. And they’re going to be even more unprepared for what will be happening in the coming months,” he added.

Statistics aren’t yet available for February, Biden’s first full month in office, but the number of encounters with illegal immigrants by border agents on the southern border has increased each consecutive month since hitting a low of 17,106 in April 2020, due to strict admission policies and low migration numbers.

The figure reached 78,323 in January, the last month data is available. Countless other immigrants enter illegally and evade detection.

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A Guatemalan migrant and his son cross the Rio Grande natural border between El Paso, state of Texas, US, and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico in search of political asylum on January 26, 2021. (Herika Martinez/AFP via Getty Images)

Another policy change, not removing immigrants under the age of 18, has led to reopening a Trump-era holding facility, with plans to increase capacity further in the future as officials grapple with more and more unaccompanied minors coming to America.

Abbott charged that the policy is helping the cartels, which will utilize the distraction of minors being picked up by border agents to illegally ferry others from Mexico.

“The Biden administration is helping the cartels make more money and grow more power,” he alleged.

Among those arrested since Jan. 1, more than 800 criminals have been identified, including 78 sex offenders and 62 gang members, he added, citing Border Patrol data.

Abbott recently activated National Guard personnel and deployed them to the border, in addition to Texas Department of Public Safety officers. He said that officers will be ready for any caravans and cartel members planning to try to enter the state.

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President Joe Biden visits W.S. Jenks & Son, a hardware store that has benefited from Paycheck Protection Program loans, in Washington on March 9, 2021. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden on Tuesday ignored a shouted question about the border situation during a tour of a business in Washington. Administration officials have alleged that the situation doesn’t constitute a crisis.

Asked why it’s not using the word, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a press conference at the White House that “we think that it’s most important to explain the substantive policy of what’s happening, what the root causes are of why these kids are coming, and what we’re doing to try to solve what is a very challenging circumstance at the border.”

She also said one of the reasons behind the surge in minor immigrants is because of the policy change, which specifically is deciding not to apply the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Title 42 public health restrictions against unaccompanied minors, allowing them to stay in place and wait for others to arrive.

“We’re not turning kids away at the border, unaccompanied children. We’re also, of course, not ripping them from the arms of their parents. And so we know and we knew there was going to be an increased number of kids coming across the border,” she said.

The White House recently sent a team of officials, including Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, to the border to scope out the situation in person and report back to Biden, though they have not had an opportunity to provide that briefing yet.

“I’ll let them do that before we have more specifics,” she said.

From The Epoch Times

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