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WATCH: Gov. Abbott news conference March 9, on Texas border crisis

Updated: Mar. 9, 2021 at 1:02 PM CST
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MISSION, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) - Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference in Mission, Texas to discuss the state’s response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the Texas-Mexico border. Prior to the press conference, the Governor took an aerial tour of the border and received a briefing from members of the U.S. Border Patrol, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the National Border Patrol Council, and the Texas National Guard.

“The Biden Administration has created a crisis at our southern border through open border policies that give the green light to dangerous cartels and other criminal activity,” said Governor Abbott. “Border security is the federal government’s responsibility, but the State of Texas will not allow the administration’s failures to endanger the lives of innocent Texans. Instead, Texas is stepping up to fill the gaps left open by the federal government to secure the border, apprehend dangerous criminals, and keep Texans safe.”

Governor Abbott noted that the current crisis at the southern border is a direct result of the Biden Administration’s open border policies. The Governor stated that over 800 criminal aliens have been apprehended in Texas this year, including sex offenders and gang members, and many of those individuals had been deported before. Cartels are ramping up trafficking and smuggling along the border and overwhelming border patrol resources —  a strategy of the organizations to bring more dangerous elements across the border including violent criminals, contraband, and individuals from special interest countries.

The Governor condemned the Biden Administration for enriching the cartels with these open border strategies and for failing to provide vaccines to members of the U.S. Border Patrol. Governor Abbott also noted that the the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are responsible for detaining, testing, and quarantining anyone that comes across the border, and called on the Biden Administration to increase the amount of ICE facilities and provide more funding to the agency to allow them to do their jobs. Governor Abbott concluded his press conference by assuring Texans that the state will step in to fill the gap created by the federal government and protect our communities from criminal activities along the border.

Previously, the Governor and DPS launched Operation Lone Star, which will deploy air, ground, marine, and tactical border security assets to high threat areas to deny Mexican Cartels and other smugglers the ability to move drugs and people into Texas.

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