Assailing Biden administration policies that he says have facilitated an unprecedented influx of gangs and illegal drugs into the United States, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Tuesday issued a disaster declaration covering 34 counties near his state’s border with Mexico, as the New York Post reports.
In a statement announcing the move, Abbott stated that “President Biden’s open-border policies have paved the away for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to pour into our communities,” referencing the administration’s sweeping moves to reverse key Trump-era immigration policies almost immediately upon taking over in January.
Emphasizing the catastrophic impact unchecked illegal immigration is having on his state, Abbott added, “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.”
The governor cited statistics indicating that the Texas Department of Public Safety had apprehended more than 35,000 illegal entrants, seized over 10,000 pounds of drugs, and made more than 1,300 criminal arrests since early March and claimed that during the first four months of the year, law enforcement agents sized 21.5 million deadly doses of fentanyl, the Post added.
Abbott’s disaster declaration will facilitate additional funding to help safeguard citizens’ property and “combat criminal activities stemming from the border crisis.” As the governor noted last month, the state legislature “allocated about $800 million every two years for the state to pay for [border security],” and that “this year…it likely – will clearly – exceed a billion dollars for the state to have to secure the United States of America.”
Abbott has long blasted the Biden administration’s failure to address the migrant surge that has been overtaking the southern border since even before the presidential inauguration and its apparent unwillingness to enforce the immigration rules already on the books. “President Biden’s approach to this is to abandon the rule of law,” said the governor back in May.
In addition to his emergency declaration, Abbott has taken other steps to counter the harrowing ramification’s of Biden’s border policies, announcing last week his intent to sign legislation criminalizing the delivery or manufacture of fentanyl, a move he says is necessary in large part due to an 800% rise in seizures of the drug resulting from the absence of strong border enforcement.
Explaining the dilemma, Abbott told reporters, “Well, in addition to the people coming across the border, there is something else crossing the border. It is unseen to the general public, but importantly, this unseen thing coming across the border is deadly dangerous,” adding:
Unaccompanied minors, they surge the border, Border Patrol officers get fully occupied simply processing, the people coming across the border. That opens up large gaps of tens, or sometimes hundreds of miles, where the drug cartels have the ability to get fentanyl across the border.
“It’s clear,” according to Abbott, “that Biden’s open-border policies are unleashing deadly consequences,” and sadly, it seems to have fallen to this governor alone to take all available steps to protect his state’s citizenry as well as the nation’s fundamental security.