Texas Governor Greg Abbott met on Saturday with a contingent of Texas sheriffs to discuss their concerns about the current border crisis’s impact on counties within the state. According to Abbott, the necessity of such workshops is caused by the current administration’s abandonment of efforts to enforce immigration laws that were passed by the United States Congress.
Governor Abbott heard commentary from several sheriffs from different regions of the state who expressed concern with the increasing levels of arrests made in connection to the current migrant surge along the border. Issues discussed also included the heightened level of danger to the public as a result of high-speed pursuits on Texas highways.
At the conclusion of the event, Abbott expressed his dismay at the current administrations handling of the crisis. “The bottom line is, because of the current administration’s complete abandonment of enforcing the laws passed that were passed by the United States Congress, concerning immigration, there is an unprecedented increase in people coming across the border,” the Texas governor told the group of Sheriffs. He concluded, saying, “Even though the federal government may have abandoned their responsibility, we have not.”
“President Biden’s open border policies have led to a disaster on our border, and the State of Texas is stepping up in the federal government’s absence to keep our communities safe,” the governor told the sheriffs. “Our efforts would not be possible without our partnership with local law enforcement. With their support, we are working tirelessly to stop the influx of unlawful immigrants and prevent the smuggling of contraband into the state.”
“But more help is needed, which is why I called for legislation this Special Session to provide more border security funding for law enforcement and counties,” Abbott continued. “This funding will help us better step up to meet this challenge and gives our border communities the resources and support they need. I strongly urge the legislature to take up this issue, and I thank our law enforcement partners for their continued efforts to secure the border.”
Several sheriffs expressed concern regarding challenges facing their jails reaching maximum detention capacity. Abbott offered a potential solution to this issue through the installation of soft-sided facilities to quickly create more detention space. The increase in arrests is the result of heightened law enforcement presence under Operation Lone Star, launched by the Governor in March.
This operation involved the deployment of 1,000 Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers and Texas Army National Guard troops to the border area.
The operation resulted in an increase in arrests of not only narcotics and human traffickers, but also those facing warrants and parole or probation violations.
Abbott promised the attendees his Border Security Project Team would continue to work to meet the demands the crisis is placing on local communities throughout the state.
The following sheriff’s attended the Governors briefing:
- Sheriff Clint McDonald, Executive Director of the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition
- Sheriff Oscar Carrillo, Culberson County
- Sheriff Brad Coe, Kinney County
- Sheriff Ray Del Bosque, Zapata County
- Sheriff Danny Dominguez, Presidio County
- Deputy Sheriff Hugo Garza, Dimmit County
- Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez, Val Verde County
- Sheriff Eusevio Salinas, Zavala County
- Sheriff Kelly Rowe, Lubbock County
- Sheriff Roy Boyd, Goliad County
- Sheriff Emmett Shelton. McMullen County
“Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, and Adjutant General of Texas Tracy Norris, joined Governor Abbott in the briefing.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.