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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declares disaster in state over border crisis

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Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 34 counties along or near the Lone Star State’s border with Mexico Tuesday, claiming that President Biden’s immigration policies had allowed in a flood of drugs and gang members.

“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 said in a statement.

“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.”

In the declaration, Abbott noted that Texas Department of Public Safety troopers had “made over 1,300 criminal arrests, apprehended over 35,000 illegal migrants and seized over 10,000 pounds of drugs and over 100 firearms” since March 6 of this year. He also stated that between January and April, troopers had intercepted “21.5 million lethal doses of fentanyl.”

Dozens of asylum-seeking migrants from Romania, Armenia, and Central America, including a group of unaccompanied minors, await to be transported to a U.S. border patrol processing facility after crossing the Rio Grande.
Dozens of asylum-seeking migrants await transportation to a U.S. border patrol processing facility after crossing the Rio Grande.
Adrees Latif/Reuters
Abbott said the state has already made over 1,000 criminal arrests.
Gov. Greg Abbott said Texas has already made over 1,000 criminal arrests.
LM Otero/AP

“Texas continues to step up to confront the border crisis in the federal government’s absence, but more must be done,” Abbot’s statement concluded.

“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. Working together with local law enforcement, the state will continue to take robust and meaningful action to keep our communities safe.”

Abbott has been one of the Biden administration’s most persistent critics on the issue of illegal immigration. Last month, he accused the president of abandoning “the rule of law” at the Texas border.

“Our state legislature, they allocated about $800 million every two years for the state to pay for this [border security],” Abbott told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” on May 2.

“This year, because of the extended time that we will have the National Guard on the border, it likely — will clearly — exceed a billion dollars for the state to have to secure the United States of America.”

His declaration claimed the state has spent approximately $3.5 billion on border security since 2014.

Families from Venezuela wait to be transported by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Families from Venezuela wait to be transported by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Go Nakamura/Reuters

Last week, Abbott announced plans to enact legislation criminalizing the manufacture or delivery of fentanyl, a powerful and often deadly opioid.

“It’s clear,” the governor said at the time, “that Biden’s open-border policies are unleashing deadly consequences.”

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