The number of immigrants illegally crossing America's southern border will grow a hundredfold in the future, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asserted late Wednesday.
"This is just the very beginning of what’s going to be a massive expansion of the number of people coming across the border. It will grow tenfold and a hundredfold, especially because of the way the Biden administration has handled this," Abbott, a Republican, said during an appearance on Fox News' "Hannity."
"Remember during the presidential campaign when all of the candidates said we want open borders? Well guess what? Biden has provided those open borders. He’s inviting everybody in and the floodgates are now open and Texas is at the forefront of it," Abbott added.
President Joe Biden promised during the 2020 campaign to roll back key Trump-era orders and rules and has done so since taking office, including axing the remain in Mexico program that forced asylum seekers to wait for their claims to be heard outside the country, and lessening how many illegal immigrants are expelled under Title 42.
Biden administration officials, though, have insisted that the border is not open.
"We’re not going to send a 10-year-old back across the border. That was the policy of the last administration. That’s not our policy here," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at the White House as she defended the administration's policy reversals.
Mayorkas has said the number will climb to the highest in 20 years if the current pace continues.
"President Biden’s reckless open border policies have created a humanitarian crisis that is enriching the cartels, smugglers, and human traffickers who often prey on and abuse unaccompanied minors," Abbott said at a press conference announcing the initiative.
Abbott told Fox later Wednesday that the administration is not being transparent with his office or the Texas Department of State Health Services.
"We need to know what the health situation of these kids are. We need to know if they’ve been exposed to variants of COVID, and if so, is it the Brazilian variant or whatever type of variants," he said.
"Our law enforcement, the Texas Department of Public Safety, they need to do their job. Part of their job is making sure they track down and prosecute anybody involved in smuggling. Once the kids get over to the state of Texas, they are still involved with coyotes and smugglers and people like that that we do have the ability to arrest and put behind bars. The Biden administration is not letting us gain access to that information so that we can arrest and prosecute those who are assisting this immigration process.”