CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Border Report) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday urged 20 sheriffs and law enforcement to continue fighting what he calls “chaos” on the border caused by the Biden administration.

“Every sheriff in Texas is a border sheriff because of the open border policies by the Biden administration,” Abbott told the group at a gathering near the Corpus Christi port.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott blames the Biden administration for over 2 million migrant encounters on the Southwest border in Fiscal Year 2022. He told law enforcement at a meeting Thursday in Corpus Christi, Texas, that Texas was “stepping up.” (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

“They collectively are all a part of the process of securing the communities from the overwhelming number of people and drugs and contraband that is coming across the border,” Abbott said.

It’s a common refrain, and one he has been repeating more and more as he campaigns heavily for re-election.

During a news conference after the meeting, he said that he believes more voters will cast ballots for fellow Republicans because they want tougher border security policies.

“Texas recognizes the chaos on the borer caused by the Biden administration,” Abbott said.

Abbott boasted that through his border security initiative Operation Lone Star, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and Texas National Guard have seized enough fentanyl “to kill every man, woman and child in America.”

He said 1,700 Texans died from fentanyl in 2021, and now every day four more also die from the illegal drug, which he said is the “leading cause of death” for those ages 18 to 45.

He touted the construction of the state-funded border wall, which could begin to add 14 more miles of segments beginning in December.

“We’re the only state to build our own border wall,” he said.

In response to Border Report asking why the segments will be spread out from Val Verde to Starr counties — nearly 300 miles apart — Abbott said the Texas Facilities Commission, which oversees the state border wall construction, is working to get property owners to turn over borderland parcels so the wall can be put up.

Law enforcement attended a special meeting with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday in Corpus Christi, Texas. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

“Their main obstacle has been to get those parcels of land that are connected to each other so they can build walls contiguously for a long way,” Abbott said. “The Facilities Commission works on a day-by-day basis to continue to negotiate rights to build wall on as much land as possible on the border.”

Zapata County Sheriff Raymundo Del Bosque Jr. told Border Report that with funds and resources from Operation Lone Star, his rural South Texas border county has been able to buy new patrol units for his deputies who had been driving outdated 2008 SUVs.

“He stepped up to the plate, provided us with resources, patrol units, equipment that are helping us to do our job and keep the border safe,” Del Bosque said after the hour-long meeting law enforcement had with the governor. “Operation Lone Star has impacted us tremendously. It has given us another breath of life in my department and in my agency to where my guys are happy. The morale is up because they know they have state-of-the-art equipment and do their job successfully and keep Zapata County safe.”

Abbott met Thursday in Corpus Christi, Texas, with sheriffs and police from several border communities. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

Brooks County Sheriff Urbino “Benny” Martinez said Abbott understands that bailouts and stolen vehicles plague his rural county of just 7,000 residents. His county is located 65 miles north of the Mexican border and along highway routes leading to Houston — popular destinations for migrants.

“We’re kind of like Ground Zero out there. If we’re not recovering bodies we’re pursuing vehicles,” Martinez told Border Report. “All this support we’re receiving from the governor’s office and we’re putting it together. We’re putting it to work. And I think that helps a lot. It means a lot to us.”