Gov. Abbott issues disaster declaration in response to ‘border crisis’

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott holds a press conference (Source: Salvador Castro, ValleyCentral.com)

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for counties along or near the U.S. Border, in response to what some officials have called a “border crisis.”

The declaration will provide “more resources and strategies to combat the ongoing influx of unlawful immigrants,” according to a news release.

Abbott authorized the use of any necessary and available state and local resources to protect landowners from the damage migrants cause to private property in southern border counties.

The governor has also directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to take any steps necessary to discontinue state licensure of any child care facility under a contract with the federal government that shelters or detains undocumented immigrants.

“President Biden’s open-border policies have paved the way for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to pour into our communities,” Abbott said in a statement. “Meanwhile, landowners along the border are seeing their property damaged and vandalized on a daily basis while the Biden Administration does nothing to protect them.

Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez issued the statement, saying he appreciated Abbott’s concern for the safety of all Texans, especially with the increasing number of immigrants crossing into Texas “to either seek asylum, to work or for other purposes.” But Cortez questioned Abbot’s claim that crime has also shot up.

“Apparently, Governor Abbott has information that we don’t have,” Cortez said. “In speaking to local law enforcement, they have not reported levels of criminal activity that would require a disaster proclamation.”

Cortez said he has repeatedly suggested that the federal government address comprehensive immigration, but is more concerned with the border being closed to travel restrictions.

“My greater concern,” he said, “is President Biden’s continued closure of our ports of entry that are having negative economic consequences on our community. Governor Abbott’s pressure against the Biden administration would be much more welcome in the form of calling for these ports of entry to be reopened so that the free flow of trade can begin to return to normal.”

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