Governor Greg Abbott today activated the Joint Border Security Operations Center (JBSOC) and directed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Texas Military Department (TMD), and Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to coordinate Texas’ response to secure the border in preparation for President Biden’s reckless decision to end Title 42 expulsions on Monday, May 23.
The JBSOC is activated to its highest alert level as the Biden Administration has estimated that the end of Title 42 expulsions will lead to up to 18,000 illegal crossings per day from Mexico into the United States.
“Texas will not stand by as President Biden puts our state and our nation in danger by ending Title 42 expulsions and allowing dangerous criminals, illegal weapons, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to flow unabated into the United States, and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis at our southern border,” said Governor Abbott. “We continue taking unprecedented action to secure the border, ramping up every available strategy and resource in response to President Biden’s ongoing border crisis. The Joint Border Security Operations Center will play an integral role in our state’s robust response to provide the border security strategy Texans — and Americans — deserve.”
The JBSOC, located at DPS headquarters in Austin, will serve as the state’s multi-agency command and coordination center for statewide border security intelligence and operations to include tactical, marine, air, and ground. It will also coordinate the deployment of strategic barriers along the Texas-Mexico border, including razor wire.
Live feeds from Texas National Guard and DPS aircraft, UAVs, and detection cameras will provide around-the-clock situational awareness. The JBSOC will have direct contact with law enforcement and local leaders along the Texas-Mexico border.
Pursuant to the disaster declaration issued last year and his authority to respond to disasters under state law, Governor Abbott directed the following state agencies to report to the JBSOC:
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- Texas Military Department
- Texas Division of Emergency Management
- Texas Department of Transportation
- Texas Facilities Commission (TFC)
- Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)
- Texas Commission on Jail Standards
- Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission
- Texas Fire Marshal’s Office
- Texas Attorney General’s Office
- Texas Indigent Defense Commission
- Border Prosecution Unit
- Office of Court Administration
Governor Abbott has taken significant action to secure the border in the wake of the federal government’s inaction. Those actions include:
- Securing $4 billion in funding for Texas’ border security efforts
- Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers
- Arresting and jailing illegal migrants trespassing or committing other state crimes in Texas
- Allocating resources that include acquiring 1,700 unused steel panels to build the border wall in Texas
- Signing a law to make it easier to prosecute smugglers bringing people into Texas
- Signing 15 laws cracking down on human trafficking in Texas
- Signing a law enhancing penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl
- Issuing a disaster declaration for the border crisis
- Issuing an executive order preventing non-governmental entities from transporting illegal immigrants
- Taking legal action to enforce the Remain in Mexico policy
- Taking aggressive action to secure the border as President Biden ends Title 42 expulsions, including busing migrants to Washington, D.C.
- Signing memoranda of understanding between the State of Texas and the States of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to enhance border security measures that will prevent illegal immigration from Mexico to Texas