Late Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that he had issued an executive order regarding the plethora of illegal immigrants flooding the Southern United States border. This order would give law enforcement officials the ability to return apprehended illegal immigrants to the border or port of entry.
On Wednesday, multiple sheriffs and deputies called on Governor Abbott to declare an invasion on the border, which they hoped would prompt further action. Sheriffs from Jeff Davis County, Terrell, Goliad, Presidio, and Kenny counties all beseeched Abbott to do so.
The order specifically gives the Texas National Guard as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety the authority to both apprehend and then return migrants crossing the border illegally to their point of entry, namely, the U.S. Southern border.
The order specifically cites migrants who have cross between ports of entry. They will be taken to the United States side of the border.
Migrant encounters at the border are currently at historically high rates. In May, there were 239,000 migrant encounters, not considering possible “gotaways” that the CBP may not have made contact with. Two weeks ago, more than fifty migrants died after being abandoned in a metal tractor trailer in South Texas heat. The following week, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Biden Administration concerning the Remain in Mexico Trump-era order. The order would have had migrants to be held on the Mexican side of the border until they could have an immigration trial.
Governor Abbott said that during the Independence holiday weekend, there were at least 5,000 migrant encounters.
Governor Abbott released the following comments: “While President Biden refuses to do his job and enforce the immigration laws enacted by Congress, the State of Texas is once again stepping up and taking unprecedented action to protect Americans and secure our southern border.”
Abbott also added that the porous border is contributing to skyrocketing increases in the presence of illegal drugs including fentanyl and illegal weapons.
This isn’t the first drastic action that the governor of Texas has taken regarding the border and the flood of migrants coming into the Lone Star state. Previously, the Abbott gubernatorial administration has bused migrants to Washington, D.C. He also authorized the ongoing Operation Lone Star, which gives border patrol and other law enforcement agencies to arrest those who enter the United States without legal authorization.
In addition, Abbott and his state Attorney General Ken Paxton have filed multiple lawsuits against the Biden Administration regarding the porous border. Attorney General Ken Paxton argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of keeping the Remain in Mexico policy. So far, Texas has been successful in stopping the Biden Administration’s attempts at narrowing the capabilities of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
At the same time, the Biden Administration has launched an investigation into Operation Lone Star “for potential civil rights violations.” On May 16, the Department of Justice sent a letter to the Texas DPS relating that they had been made aware of some potential civil rights violations of migrants.
A growing number of members of the United States Congress has called for Governor Abbott to declare the influx of migrants an invasion.