UPDATED 5:08 PM PT – Saturday, July 10, 2021
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) held a border security briefing with sheriffs from several communities, along with other Texas officials at the state’s Capitol on Saturday. Abbott met with nearly a dozen sheriffs from border communities to discuss the state’s efforts to secure the border amid a “unprecedented magnitude” of migrants.
The governor focused on plans to find jail space for detained migrants and shared concerns over an increase in stash houses, claiming migrants are causing carnage at the border. State officials have been assisting local authorities amid the struggle, who have expressed concern over an increase in migrant-related high-speed chases, as well as an influx of weapons, narcotics and other contraband coming into the state.
“So if you look on a month by month basis, what you will see is an increase year over year of 800, 900 percent, sometimes almost a thousand percent,” said Abbott. “And the difference is this, the Biden administration has abandoned the standards that the Trump administration put into place that were effective in slowing the number of people coming across the border, period.”
Meeting with our border sheriffs who are on the front lines of this crisis.
Thank you for your partnership.
In the federal government’s absence, we will continue working together to secure our border. pic.twitter.com/4Zesc7V82G
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 10, 2021
This comes after Abbott mentioned earlier in the week that border security funding was named one of several priorities for the Texas legislature’s special session. Abbott blamed the current surge of migrants on the Biden administration and its open border policies.
Abbott also touched lightly on the state’s border wall, saying strategies are in the works that involve construction bids being put in place. The governor recently authorized a $250 million transfer for the project, but details surrounding when and where construction will take place remains unknown.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded more than 180,000 encounters on the southwest border in May alone.
“Our message to the country is that even though the federal government may have abandoned their responsibility, we are not going to abandon our responsibility,” expressed Abbott. “We have here with us today, people who believe in the rule of law, people who will enforce the rule of law. And there are others like them across the state…and we are not going to abdicate our responsibility to make sure that we are enforcing the rule of law.”
In the meantime, Abbott said state officials are working on the strategies needed to make sure they’re providing local officials with every tool and resource needed in order to keep their communities safe.