Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration at the state's southern border to augment additional resources to efforts addressing the humanitarian crisis at the border.
"Meanwhile, landowners along the border are seeing their property damaged and vandalized on a daily basis while the Biden Administration does nothing to protect them. Texas continues to step up to confront the border crisis in the federal government's absence, but more must be done."
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has also been directed to stop issuing state licenses to child care facilities under a contract with the federal government that shelters or detains unlawful immigrants.
Abbott is also directing the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to provide guidance and request any necessary waivers that would give counties the flexibility to establish adequate alternative detention facilities or add or expand the capacity of current facilities.
"By declaring a state of disaster in these counties, Texas will have more resources and strategies at our disposal to protect landowners and enforce all federal and state laws to combat criminal activities stemming from the border crisis. Working together with local law enforcement, the state will continue to take robust and meaningful action to keep our communities safe," Abbott said.
In March, Abbott had launched Operation Lone Star as an effort to address the border crisis. The operation added resources to deter illegal border crossings and directed state law enforcement to interview unaccompanied minors, children who illegally enter the country without an adult, to identify victims of human trafficking.
Since its launch, the Operation has made over over 1,300 criminal arrests, apprehended over 35,000 illegal immigrants, and seized over 10,000 pounds of drugs and over 100 firearms, the governor said.
The Biden administration, on the other hand, has sought to shift the blame on former President Donald Trump’s administration, with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas previously saying that the Trump administration had “dismantled the orderly, humane, and efficient way of allowing children to make their claims under United States law in their own country.”