Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday, Jan. 8, hand-delivered a letter to President Joe Biden, upon his arrival in El Paso for his first trip to the border, calling on him to do his job and secure the border by enforcing federal immigration laws.
In the letter, the Governor provided five specific actions the President can immediately take to secure the border and restore order to an out-of-control immigration crisis.
“This chaos is the direct result of your failure to enforce the immigration laws that Congress enacted,” reads the letter. “Your open-border policies have emboldened the cartels, who grow wealthy by trafficking deadly fentanyl and even human beings. Texans are paying an especially high price for your failure, sometimes with their very lives, as local leaders from your own party will tell you if given the chance. On behalf of all Americans, I implore you: Secure our border by enforcing Congress’s immigration laws.”
The Governor handed the letter to President Biden after greeting him on the tarmac at the El Paso International Airport. This visit marks the President’s first trip to the southern border since being sworn into office almost two years ago.
Governor Abbott has taken unprecedented action to secure the border in the wake of the federal government’s inaction, including:
- Securing $4 billion in funding for Texas’ border security efforts
- Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers
- Taking aggressive action to aid border communities, including busing thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia
- Designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations to keep Texans safe amid the growing national fentanyl crisis
- Arresting and jailing criminals trespassing or committing other state crimes along the southern border
- Issuing an executive order authorizing the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to return illegal immigrants to the border at ports of entry
- Allocating resources to acquire 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
- Signing memoranda of understanding between the State of Texas and the States of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to enhance border security measures in their states that will prevent illegal immigration from Mexico to Texas
- Activating the Joint Border Security Operations Center (JBSOC) and directing the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Military Department, and Texas Division of Emergency Management to coordinate Texas’ response to secure the border