Governor Abbott to deploy more Texas National Guard to address crisis at southern border

Published 1:59 pm Friday, June 21, 2019

PRESS RELEASE —  AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today announced the deployment of 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) with the escalating humanitarian crisis at the southern border. In the past three weeks alone, more than 45,000 individuals from 52 different countries have been apprehended illegally crossing the border into Texas.

“The crisis at our southern border is unlike anything we’ve witnessed before and has put an enormous strain on the existing resources we have in place,” said Governor Abbott. “With the deployment of these troops, we are taking action to confront the crisis at the border and keep potentially dangerous criminals and illegal activity out of our communities. By working together with our federal partners, we will continue to pursue a strong and comprehensive strategy to secure our border.”

In the coming weeks, DHS will establish holding facilities in the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso for single adults entering the country illegally. The Texas National Guard troops will provide supplemental staffing support at the temporary holding facilities as well as supplemental enforcement support at ports of entry. These combined efforts will help alleviate the humanitarian crisis on our border as well as increase security for Texas communities.

“The massive increase in illegal immigration — on pace to exceed a million people this year— has been an emergency for months and Texas must continue to do everything we can to help secure our border, including deploying these additional troops,” said Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. “Texas communities along the border and throughout the state are struggling to deal with this huge increase. Our health care system and schools are stretched to the breaking point and cost increases on everything from temporary shelter and policing to street cleaning have been astronomical.  Governor Abbott, Speaker Bonnen and I are agreed that we must work with our federal partners and act now.”

 “As a longtime advocate for border security, I support today’s announcement as yet another example of Texas stepping up and filling in the gaps where the federal government has fallen short,” said Speaker Dennis Bonnen. “I have worked with Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, and lawmakers in past legislative sessions to secure our border and ensure the safety of our citizens, and will continue to support measures to do so as we call on Washington to fulfill their duty to protect our citizens.”

The federal government will pay for 100 percent of the costs associated with this short-term mission.

Today’s announcement follows a series of actions Governor Abbott and the State of Texas have taken in the past four years to secure our border in the wake of inaction by Congress.

Since Governor Abbott took office, the State of Texas has dedicated nearly $3 billion to confront the challenges that exist along our southern border.

The State of Texas has also added 500 permanent Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers to the border region.