By Bethany Blankley (The Center Square)
The U.S. Department of Defense is calling up an initial 2,500 National Guard troops from multiple states to be sent to the southern border. The move by the Biden administration is hypocritical, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told The Center Square.
President Joe Biden has not responded to any of Abbott’s requests to visit the border, or secure the border, Abbott said in an interview on Tuesday.
“When you see the chaos and devastation caused by the Biden administration policies on the border, it’s shocking that’s he’s not been down there to see what he caused,” the border governor said.
“Go back two, two and a half years ago, we had some of the lowest border crossings in decades; go back over the last century, to see that low number of illegal border crossings. Then go to this fiscal year that ended on the 30th of September. We set an all-time record of 2.2 million apprehensions of people coming across the border illegally. He’s clearly by his own policies caused record-setting illegal immigration. But it goes beyond that. Look at the challenges that people in Del Rio, Eagle Pass and the small communities along the border have to deal with every single day.”
Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in the spring of 2021 to mobilize state resources to combat the surge in illegal immigration at the state’s souther border with Mexico, including deploying the state’s National Guard to help with security efforts.
“It is hypocritical on the one hand for the president and his staff to criticize me for having to deploy the National Guard to respond to his open border policies, now for them only to begin to deploy [other states’] National Guards is deeply hypocritical,” he said.
It’s also hypocritical, the Texas governor continued, for other Democratic leaders “to criticize me for helping out our local communities by busing out migrants to sanctuary cities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Chicago, and then Biden and his administration moving migrants themselves in the middle of the night. What we are doing is really nothing different than what the Biden administration is doing.”
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After the surge in illegal immigration, the Biden administration began flying foreign nationals to locations across the country without notifying elected officials in those states, Republican leaders say. After Abbott began busing migrants to the so-called sanctuary cities of Washington D.C., New York City and then Chicago, Democratic leaders in those locations called the initiative inhumane.
“It is rank hypocrisy that we are dealing with,” Abbott told The Center Square.
Since early last year, Abbott’s sent letters to Biden and others in his administration requesting information about who is being released into the country and where they are being transported to, among other questions, and has received no response. He’s formed interstate compacts with other Republican governors, signed memorandums of understanding with four Mexican governors, and was the first governor to begin building a border wall on Texas soil.
The Texas legislature has allocated over $4 billion to fund Texas’ border security efforts, including surging state resources to the southern border, including from Texas DPS and roughly 10,000 Texas National Guard troops.
Former Border Patrol agent Frank Lopez Jr., who’s running for Congress in the largest congressional district at the border, CD23, told The Center Square, “Any action by the Biden administration is suspect. The administration certainly has not secured the border; rather they’ve accelerated mass migration. The real purpose of sending troops to the border is certainly not to help Border Patrol agents get out in the field. Instead, the guardsmen and women will act as force multipliers so that more illegal aliens are detected and can be held until Border Patrol is ordered to process and release them into the United States in violation of immigration law.”
Lopez says he anticipates the move will only worsen morale for Border Patrol agents, which is “already at an all time low. This action will only exacerbate their situation and result in plummeting retention as more people seek to get out as soon as possible.”
Former acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan told The Center Square, “The majority of intellectually honest people in America will see this for what it is – 30 days before election – a political stunt.
“These military resources are not being used to secure the border to apply consequences to those who are illegally entering the U.S. Instead they will be used to expedite the processing and releasing of more illegal aliens into the U.S.”
Morgan also points out that National Guard members don’t have legal authority to enforce federal immigration law. They will be tasked with assisting Border Patrol agents with non-enforcement operations, including air support, surveillance, transportation and detaining people who’ve entered the U.S. illegally until they can be picked up by Border Patrol agents.
“The administration’s plan is simply to facilitate more people coming through the border, making it less secure. And 2,500 troops is a drop in the bucket, completely for show,” he adds.
Even though Abbott’s Operation Lone Star has been effective, Morgan argues, the border is less secure than it was 19 months ago.
Morgan said “the administration can throw more resources and more money at the problem, it could even send 50,000 National Guard troops and it won’t change anything because the problem is a policy issue. Biden’s open border policies are driving more and more people to come here as we’ve already seen from over 150 countries, including 78 terrorists that we know of.”
Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.