Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered 1,000 National Guard Troops to the Mexican border Friday. The troops are tasked with supplemental staffing for new detention facilities being built by the Department of Homeland Security to free up Border Patrol agents.
“The crisis at our southern border is unlike anything we’ve witnessed before and has put an enormous strain on the existing resources we have in place,” Governor Abbott. “With the deployment of these troops, we are taking action to confront the crisis at the border and keep potentially dangerous criminals and illegal activity out of our communities. said in a press conference in the Texas Capitol. “By working together with our federal partners, we will continue to pursue a strong and comprehensive strategy to secure our border.”
During the announcement, Abbott was flanked by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R), Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton), and Adjutant General Major General Tracy Norris.
“The massive increase in illegal immigration — on pace to exceed a million people this year— has been an emergency for months and Texas must continue to do everything we can to help secure our border, including deploying these additional troops,” Lt. Governor Patrick stated. “Texas communities along the border and throughout the state are struggling to deal with this huge increase. Our health care system and schools are stretched to the breaking point and cost increases on everything from temporary shelter and policing to street cleaning have been astronomical. Governor Abbott, Speaker Bonnen and I are agreed that we must work with our federal partners and act now.”
“As a longtime advocate for border security, I support today’s announcement as yet another example of Texas stepping up and filling in the gaps where the federal government has fallen short,” Speaker Dennis Bonnen added. “I have worked with Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, and lawmakers in past legislative sessions to secure our border and ensure the safety of our citizens, and will continue to support measures to do so as we call on Washington to fulfill their duty to protect our citizens.”
Abbott said that in the past three weeks, U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 45,000 migrants from 52 countries who illegally crossed the border into Texas. The vast majority of these are family units and unaccompanied minors from the Central American Northern Triangle according to reports from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Texas has provided supplemental support to border security operations for the past several years, the governor’s office stated. Under Abbott’s terms of office, the state dedicated nearly $3 billion in the effort to secure the border.
Those funds have been used in the past to deploy National Guard troops, hire and deploy additional Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, and build additional support and training facilities. The governor’s office stated that Texas hired and deployed 500 DPS troopers to the border region.