“The dramatic rise in unlawful border crossings has also led to a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases among unlawful migrants who have made their way into our state, and we must do more to protect Texans from this virus and reduce the burden on our communities,” Abbott, a Republican, said in a statement. “This executive order will reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure in our communities.”
The order prohibits anyone other than a federal, state, or local official from transporting migrants detained by CBP for crossing the border illegally, who are subject to expulsion under the federal Title 42 order.
“The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is directed to stop any vehicle upon reasonable suspicion of a violation [of the order] and to reroute such a vehicle back to its point of origin or a port of entry if a violation is confirmed,” the order states.
The governor also authorized DPS to impound vehicles that refuse to comply with rerouting orders.
A day earlier, Abbott directed the Texas National Guard to assist DPS with making arrests on state charges related to the border crisis.
“To respond to this disaster and secure the rule of law at our Southern border, more manpower is needed—in addition to the troopers from DPS and soldiers from the Texas National Guard I have already deployed there—and DPS needs help in arresting those who are violating state law,” Abbott said in a statement.
Border Patrol agents are apprehending an average of 6,300 illegal immigrants daily along the southern border. Texas is home to the busiest border sector for illegal crossings. Border Patrol agents detained 20,000 illegal immigrants in one week in late July in the Rio Grande Valley sector.
Border Patrol apprehended a record-breaking group of 298 illegal aliens in La Grulla, Texas, including one who exhibited “COVID-19 related symptoms” and was taken to a hospital. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP virus.
The most recent large groups have mostly contained citizens from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, according to CBP.
Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.