AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he will not sit idle while the federal government allows the flood of illegal alien children and families to flood into the state. Abbott ordered the state’s National Guard to remain in place along the Texas-Mexican border.
The order from the governor comes after the federal government failed, once again, to secure the border and prevent the new surge of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and incomplete families who have surged to high levels over the past two months.
The guard had been scheduled to phase out of its border mission as more law enforcement resources became available. The massive increase over the past two months led Abbott to order the continuation of the mission.
In September, Governor Abbott sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warning him of the growing numbers of illegal immigrant children and families being observed by Texas officials, Breitbart Texas’ Ildefonso Ortiz reported.
“I asked for his ‘immediate and bold action to prevent this from escalating into an uncontrollable crisis,’” Governor Abbott said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Despite the warning – followed by a phone discussion about the matter – my request for more border patrol agents and strategic resources to secure the border were ignored.”
“Now, the concern I warned about has turned into reality: A substantial spike in illegal crossings has occurred at a particularly unsuspecting time, once again challenging Texas’ security and resources,” the governor stated. “The Federal Government compounded its negligence by failing to give advance notice so that the state and local governments could prepare for the Obama administration’s unilateral decision to relocate nearly a thousand foreign nationals in Texas.”
Breitbart Texas reported repeatedly about the increased numbers of children and families crossing the border and the impact on the federal government’s ability to handle these people. In October and November, the numbers of UACs has doubled the previous year’s numbers and the numbers of incomplete family units nearly tripled.
Abbott reported the numbers of UAC arrivals in the Big Bend Sector have increased nearly tenfold.
“Texas will not sit idle in the face of this challenge,” Abbott said. “We will not be victimized as a state by a federal government’s apathetic response to border security.”
The governor announced the following actions in response to the federal government’s failure to plan for this surge and secure the border:
- Extend the deployment of the National Guard troops at strategic locations on the border intended to reduce illegal entry;
- Instruct the Texas Department of Public Safety to coordinate with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to increase the number of boats and tactical officers at strategic locations on the Rio Grande River;
- Instruct the Department of Public Safety to increase aerial observation missions to aid interdiction efforts;
- Award Grants to support the Border Prosecution Unit;
- Provide Grants to Ellis and Rockwall Counties to aid their efforts to respond to the unexpected relocation of unaccompanied minors to their counties.
- Re-urge the Department of Homeland Security to increase border patrol agents in Texas.
The governor expressed his continued gratitude to the men and women of the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas National Guard for their service in helping to secure the Texas border. “Thanks to their commitment, Texas is doing everything in its power to secure our border,” Abbott said.
“This action would not be necessary if the federal government fulfilled its obligation to secure our nation’s border,” the governor continued. “The problem is compounded by drug cartels and transnational gang enterprises that are involved in this illegal cross-border activity—including human smuggling. My first and foremost responsibility as Governor is to protect the citizens of Texas, with or without the federal government’s help.”
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.