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Governor Abbott Orders DPS, TMD To Use Every Available Strategy To Combat Border Crisis

November 16, 2022 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Texas Military Department (TMD) to expand their unprecedented efforts to combat the growing illegal immigration along the Texas-Mexico border. In a letter to DPS Director Steve McCraw and TMD Adjutant General Thomas Suelzer, the Governor outlined the need for the Operation Lone Star partners to defend Texas against what amounts to an invasion of America's southern border. Amid the Biden Administration’s ongoing failure to secure the border, DPS troopers and Texas National Guard soldiers, through Operation Lone Star, have repelled and turned back historic numbers of immigrants trying to cross the border illegally, arrested dangerous transnational criminals and criminal trespassers, and seized enough deadly fentanyl to kill every man, woman, and child in the nation.

“Until Congress acts or the Biden Administration does its constitutionally required job, Texas Guardsmen and Troopers must bear the burden of securing the border,” reads the letter. “You must continue to keep Texans and Americans safe and protect against an invasion of the southern border. I order you to use all resources and tools available to repel immigrants from attempting to cross illegally, arrest those who cross illegally and return them to the border, and arrest criminals who violate Texas law.”

On Monday, the Governor sent a letter to county judges in Texas explaining his Executive Order that invokes the Invasion Clauses of the U.S. and Texas Constitutions to fully authorize the unprecedented actions Texas is taking to secure the border amid an all-time record for illegal immigration, including devoting more than $4 billion toward border security and enhanced public safety measures. As Governor of Texas and commander-in-chief of its military forces, Governor Abbott has used constitutional authority, other authorization, and Executive Orders for historic actions such as building a border wall in multiple counties along the border, designating Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations, and repelling immigrants seeking to enter illegally.

Monday’s letter to Texas county judges also calls for Congress to reimburse the State of Texas for the billions of dollars used to keep Texans safe amid the Biden Administration's refusal to do so, as well as for hearings and possible impeachment for federal officials who have not faithfully executed the nation's immigration laws. The letter also urges Congress to go beyond Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution and specifically amend federal law to clarify that Texas troopers and soldiers are shielded from legal attack simply for protecting Texas against illegal entry between ports of entry.

Read Governor Abbott’s letter to Director McCraw and Maj. Gen. Suelzer.

Governor Abbott has taken unprecedented action to secure the border in the wake of the federal government’s inaction, including:

  • Securing $4 billion in funding for Texas' border security efforts
  • Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers
  • Taking aggressive action to aid border communities, including busing thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia
  • Arresting and jailing criminals trespassing or committing other state crimes along the southern border
  • Issuing an executive order authorizing the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to return illegal immigrants to the border at ports of entry
  • Allocating resources to acquire 1,700 unused steel panels to build the border wall in Texas
  • Signing a law to make it easier to prosecute smugglers bringing people into Texas
  • Signing 15 laws cracking down on human trafficking in Texas
  • Signing a law enhancing penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl
  • Issuing a disaster declaration for the border crisis
  • Issuing an executive order preventing non-governmental entities from transporting illegal immigrants
  • Signing memoranda of understanding between the State of Texas and the States of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to enhance border security measures in their states that will prevent illegal immigration from Mexico to Texas
  • Activating the Joint Border Security Operations Center (JBSOC) and directing the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Military Department, and Texas Division of Emergency Management to coordinate Texas’ response to secure the border
  • Creating DPS vehicle inspection checkpoints targeting semi-trucks and other commercial motor vehicles that cross the border and potentially pose a danger on our roads.

Read more on additional actions taken by the Governor to secure the border.