Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration in southern Texas, allocating more resources to respond to the border crisis, his office announced Tuesday.
Law enforcement officials were directed to prosecute illegal immigrants under applicable federal and state criminal laws including smuggling, human trafficking and trespassing, Abbott said in the press release. The governor claimed that illegal migrants are damaging private property and harming landowners.
“President Biden’s open-border policies have paved the way for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to pour into our communities,” Abbott continued. “Meanwhile, landowners along the border are seeing their property damaged and vandalized on a daily basis while the Biden Administration does nothing to protect them.”
“Texas continues to step up to confront the border crisis in the federal government’s absence, but more must be done,” the press release added.
Issuing a disaster declaration along Texas’ southern border in response to the border crisis.
This declaration provides more resources and strategies to combat the ongoing influx of unlawful immigrants.
More details: https://t.co/U2uJUESofr
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) June 1, 2021
Abbott instructed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to close all federally contracted detention facilities holding illegal migrants, including facilities that house unaccompanied children. Counties may designate alternative facilities to detain illegal migrants or expand capacity as they see fit, with a waiver from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
“By declaring a state of disaster in these counties, Texas will have more resources and strategies at our disposal to protect landowners and enforce all federal and state laws to combat criminal activities stemming from the border crisis,” Abbott said in his press release. “Working together with local law enforcement, the state will continue to take robust and meaningful action to keep our communities safe.”
Abbott asked the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to simplify licensing and transfer procedures and to help staff detention facilities if needed with capacity expansions.
Abbott did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.