Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to the governors of the other 49 states on May 16, asking them to help end the crisis at the United States’ southern border.
Emphasizing the recent end of Title 42 expulsions, Abbott laid the blame for the influx of unlawful migration at President Joe Biden’s feet.
“Since taking office,” Abbott claimed, “President Biden has willfully refused to enforce our nation’s immigration laws while systematically dismantling every effective border security policy that previously led to the lowest number of illegal border crossings in decades.”
“The resultant surge in illegal immigration and transnational criminal activity is a direct consequence of these misguided actions, and yet President Biden further jeopardized our nation’s security by ending Title 42 expulsions on May 11, 2023,” Abbott said.
Turning to the national impact of unlawful migration, Abbott said, “The flood of illegal border activity invited by the Biden Administration flows directly across the southern border into Texas communities, but this crisis does not stop in our state.”
“Emboldened Mexican drug cartels and other transnational criminal enterprises profit off this chaos, smuggling people and dangerous drugs like fentanyl into our communities nationwide,” the letter read. “In the federal government’s absence, we, as Governors, must band together to combat President Biden’s ongoing border crisis and ensure the safety and security that all Americans deserve.”
Abbott suggested that the Emergency Management Assistance Compact would enable the states to offer direct assistance to Texas instead of relying on the Biden administration to act.
“Join us in the mission to defend our national sovereignty and territorial integrity and send all available law enforcement personnel and resources to the Texas-Mexico border to serve alongside our thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers,” Abbott requested.
After listing the financial cost of his border security measures and the successes of Operation Lone Star, Abbott noted that some states have already begun to act on his call for help.
“Last week, Idaho Governor Brad Little announced the deployment of a team of Idaho State Police personnel to support Texas’ border security efforts. … The State of Florida has also offered resources, such as hundreds of Florida National Guard soldiers and law enforcement officers,” he said.
Abbott concluded, “President Biden unleashed a nationwide crisis and subsequently denied the federal government’s responsibility to address it. However, as Texas has demonstrated, when united we can overcome any challenge together.”
Little responded to Abbott’s letter on Twitter, “Idaho is proud to support @GovAbbott alongside @GovRonDeSantis in response to the ongoing border crisis. We are stepping up to protect our communities and our nation!”
Similarly, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said, “We stand ready to offer Alabama’s support. America and our immigrants deserve better than this preventable crisis.”
Gov. Abbott’s response to the border crisis has drawn criticism from some, however, who suggest that the situation is overblown or disagree with how Abbott has used his authority.
For example, Jaime Puente, the director of economic opportunity for activist group Every Texan, denounced Abbott’s letter to the governors, saying, “More and more this guy is trying to build his own little confederacy. He’ll never get close to the White House but maybe he can create his own little racist fiefdom here.”
The Biden administration has also denied that its policies represent an open border or that they have contributed to an increase in unlawful migration.
After the end of Title 42, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a statement explaining, “Starting tonight, people who arrive at the border without using a lawful pathway will be presumed ineligible for asylum. We are ready to humanely process and remove people without a legal basis to remain in the U.S.”
“We have 24,000 Border Patrol Agents and Officers at the Southwest Border and have surged thousands of troops and contractors, and over a thousand asylum officers to help enforce our laws,” he continued. “Do not believe the lies of smugglers. The border is not open.”