Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday called on the Biden administration to “up their game, big time” as Texas struggles to cope with a historic migrant crisis – including a recent surge of Haitian migrants in Del Rio.
“The only thing they’ve shown is an incapability of dealing with this crisis, candidly in a way where they pretend it doesn’t even exist,” the Republican governor said at a press conference. “And we’re here to tell you, it exists and it’s total chaos and the Biden administration- they need to up their game, big time.”
Abbott was speaking to reporters about the measures Texas is taking to push back against the wave of illegal immigration surging through the U.S. border. There have been more than 200,000 migrant encounters in both July and August as part of a continuing migrant wave.
The Biden administration has blamed “root causes” like poverty and violence in Central America, as well as the Trump administration for shutting down legal asylum pathways. Republicans have blamed the administration for rolling back Trump-era policies like the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and for reinstating “catch-and-release.”
Last week, a surge of predominantly Haitian migrants hit the bridge in Del Rio, with more than 14,000 under the bridge at one point last week. DHS has responded by surging resources and increasing deportation flights.
“When you have an administration that has abandoned any pretense of securing the border and security our sovereignty, you see the onrush,” he said.
Abbott has attempted to take matters into his own hands, and earlier this year announced a project to build a wall at Texas’ southern border, and has also initiated Operation Lonestar — which involves the deployment of law enforcement to the border to arrest those coming in illegally.
“If they’re thinking about coming and crossing this river here in Texas, you may end up with handcuffs on your hands and going straight to jail rather than being released into the general population,” he said.
Abbott also said, amid changing migrant tactics, Texas would be attempting to change its strategy accordingly.
“We will continue moving law enforcement and National Guard officials to whatever location where people may be trying to cross the border and use the same strategy to try and reduce the influx, unprecedented, of people coming across the border,” he said.