Nearly 70 percent of the 172,011 migrants apprehended at the U.S. southern border crossed into the five Texas-based Border Patrol sectors. Governor Greg Abbott (R) recently announced sweeping new law enforcement and border security actions late last week at a summit in Del Rio.
Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, Del Rio, Big Bend, and El Paso Sectors apprehended 118,036 of the 172,011 (68.6 percent) migrants in May, according to the May Southwest Land Border Encounters report released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection late Wednesday night. In year-to-date figures, agents apprehended 605,133 of the 897,213 (67 percent) since October 1, 2020.
Because of changes put in place by the Biden Administration, Abbott announced an aggressive plan where the State of Texas will erect border barriers and begin “mass arrests” of migrants who violate state laws.
In a one-on-one interview with Breitbart Texas shortly before the kickoff of the governor’s border security summit on June 10, Abbot said, “The Biden Administration’s policies are the most reckless, reprehensible, and dangerous of any president I’ve ever seen.”
“The influx across the border is out of control, and the Biden Administration has shown that is not going to step up and do its job,” the governor stated. “And, amidst reports of even more people coming in across the border, we know we have to step up and do more.”
The governor said authorities will use existing authorities under a State of Emergency declaration to crack down on those illegally crossing the border.
“If you come to Texas, you’re subject to being arrested,” Abbott stated. “You’re not going to have a pathway to roam the country. You’re going to have a pathway directly into a jail cell.”
Abbott said he will immediately expand the previously enacted Operation Lone Star where he said Texas law enforcement and National Guardsmen have already arrested more than 1,500 migrants and referred another 35,000 to Border Patrol agents.
“It’s clear that that’s not enough to deter the flow,” the governor said. “And so, the State will provide many more resources, but we need to understand that just providing more resources alone is not going to be enough. We need to provide new strategies, new tools to address these challenges.”
One of those strategies is the “immediate” placement of new border barriers to be put in place by the State of Texas. The State identified many locations where migrants can easily walk across unsecured sections of the border and enter the private property along the Rio Grande.
“Immediately, we will put up barriers there,” Abbott explained. “One reason to do that is that if they move or interfere with that barrier, they have committed several (state) crimes.”
“One is they’ve committed criminal mischief, as well as vandalism of state property or local government property,” Abbott continued. “And that barrier is information to them that if they cross that barrier, they have trespassed.”
“We want to be very aggressive in working with local officials and begin making mass arrests,” Abbott stated. “In working in collaboration with a large number of counties — that means we’re going to be arresting a lot more people.”
“In the end, only the federal government and Congress can fix this, but as it stands right now, the state of Texas is going to step up and we’re going to start making arrests — sending a message to anybody thinking about coming here, you’re not going to get a free pass to the U.S. They’re getting a straight pass to a jail cell.”