Following revelations that little has been done to secure the state’s southern border, Gov. Greg Abbott has now decided to call on the Texas National Guard, but he hasn’t specified how many additional troops are to be deployed. Meanwhile, an official from one of the border counties reports promises are being made to deliver help.
Citing his authority in the Texas Constitution, on July 27, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas National Guard to “assist [the Texas Department of Public Safety] in enforcing Texas law by arresting lawbreakers at the border.” He also cited state government code saying he “can call on state military forces ‘to enforce state law’ and ‘to assist civil authorities in guarding [or] conveying prisoners.’”
Earlier this year, Abbott made a public pivot towards securing Texas’ border with Mexico. However, on July 14, Kinney County Attorney Brent Smith told Texas Scorecard the county had received no assistance. Furthermore, the state was denying funds the border county was seeking to secure themselves. The state had also not yet authorized help offered from Florida. On July 17, Abbott held a briefing with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), where both men asked for more federal action on border security.
On July 22, a video surfaced of illegal immigrants being walked through an open gate at the Texas border and into a Border Patrol vehicle.
In mid-June, Abbott announced the state would be building its own wall, only for citizens to recently discover a chain-link fence was being prepared instead. “The fence won’t deter any illegals from entering,” said retired U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Victor Avila. He argued instead for Abbott to use abandoned materials for former President Trump’s wall. Avila also suggested Abbott work with private landowners who have property on the border to build barriers there instead of further inland.
Since Abbott’s summit with DeSantis, Smith informed Texas Scorecard that he and Sheriff Brad Coe met with DPS Director Steven McCraw this week. “Lots of promises were made,” Smith said.
In today’s letter to Norris, Abbott said “more manpower” than the state troopers and National Guard he previously deployed are needed. “DPS needs help in arresting those who are violating state law,” he wrote. He didn’t specify how many additional troops are to be deployed.
Before this, Abbott’s rivals in the Republican primary for governor mentioned using the Texas National Guard in their own border security plans.
While Abbott’s policies on securing the Texas border continue to develop, Avila calls on Texans to contact all of their local, state, and federal elected officials. “I want our citizens to continue to put the pressure on all elected officials.”