MISSION — In a press conference held by the Anzalduas Bridge along the Rio Grande, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott joined nine other Republican governors in discussing proposed solutions to the invasion of illegal aliens along the southern border.

The main target of Abbott’s remarks? President Joe Biden and the federal government.

“President Joe Biden has caused a humanitarian crisis and chaos on our southern border,” Abbott declared, with a backdrop of Texas Department of Public Safety and National Guard military vehicles behind him.

While Abbott laid out 10 actions he says his administration has taken in response to the border surge—such as new laws passed by the Texas Legislature to prosecute human traffickers and smugglers, issuing a disaster declaration in some of Texas’ border counties, and fighting to keep the Remain in Mexico Policy in court—much of the group’s criticism was aimed towards Washington, D.C.

Shortly before the press conference, the Republican Governor’s Association released a list of policy proposals directed at President Joe Biden, whom the group of governors has unsuccessfully petitioned to hold a meeting with.

Those proposals include the following:

  1. Continue Title 42 public health restrictions.
  2. Fully reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols.
  3. Finish securing the border.
  4. End catch and release.
  5. Clear the judicial backlog.
  6. Resume the deportation of all criminals.
  7. Dedicate federal resources to eradicate human trafficking and drug trafficking.
  8. Re-enter all agreements with our Northern Triangle partners and Mexico.
  9. Send a clear message to potential migrants.
  10. Deploy more federal law enforcement officers.

“If the president won’t meet with us, we’ll share our policy ideas today,” said Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

In addition to Ducey, Abbott was joined by fellow Republican Govs. Brian Kemp (Georgia), Brad Little (Idaho), Greg Gianforte (Montana), Pete Ricketts (Nebraska), Mike DeWine (Ohio), Kevin Stitt (Oklahoma), and Mac Gordon (Wyoming).

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was originally slated to appear, but she was not present. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who held a press conference earlier this year with Abbott near the border, was also not among those in attendance.

Despite illegal immigration being an ongoing problem in Texas since Abbott took office in 2015, Abbott has heightened his attention to the issue in recent months as some of his Republican primary challengers have taken him to task.

When asked by Texas Scorecard if Abbott would consider closing ports of entry to Mexico, as has been suggested by challenger Don Huffines, Abbott declined to commit. While the governor said he would take “any and all action that needs to be taken,” he also said that “most, if not all” of illegal immigration was occurring between those ports.

Huffines responded by telling Texas Scorecard, “Greg Abbott’s entire press conference was asking Joe Biden to do a job he will never do. We know Joe Biden will never secure the Texas border.”

“The only way the Texas border will ever be secure is with a courageous governor of Texas who doesn’t ask permission from the federal government,” he added.

Last month, Abbott said he would close six points of entry with Mexico, but he reversed the decision just hours later, blaming the Biden administration for not cooperating.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens