WASHINGTON – Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced today that the Lone Star State will be sending approximately 1,000 soldiers from the Texas National Guard to the Southwest border in order to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in response to the continued border security and humanitarian crisis. These troops will provide supplemental staffing support at temporary holding facilities, as well as supplemental enforcement capacity at ports of entry along the border.
“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.”
“At DHS, we have a long history of working closely with our partners in Texas, united by the common purpose of keeping the United States and its people safe and secure,” said Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan. “While we are doing everything we can to manage the crisis, the volume of vulnerable populations arriving every day is simply unsustainable. The deployment of Texas National Guard personnel provides critical support to our law enforcement agents at the border at a time of tremendous need.”
The combined state and federal effort will help address the humanitarian crisis on our border as well as increase border security for Texas communities. National Guard personnel have provided support—such as counternarcotic support operations— in Texas for decades. Over 4,000 National Guard Troops from Texas, Arizona and New Mexico have helped in securing the border in recent deployments.
In the past three weeks alone, more than 45,000 people have been apprehended in Texas crossing the border illegally. Currently, 40 to 60 percent of Border Patrol agents are being pulled away from their border security mission to provide humanitarian support, instead of working on the frontlines to stop drugs, gang members, and dangerous criminals from entering our country.
To help manage this crisis and alleviate the strain on resources and personnel at the border, CBP established temporary holding facilities in El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley for those who cross the border illegally as they await transfer to ICE for further adjudication of their immigration cases.
DHS is taking a “whole of government” approach to confront the ongoing crisis and fulfill the Department’s humanitarian and security obligations. With DHS facilities at peak capacity, rapid growth in the flow of migrants entering the U.S. through the southern border is straining DHS resources to their breaking point, threatening lives on both sides of the border—including underprivileged families and children at risk from the dangerous journey to the U.S.
On May 1, the Administration requested $4.5 billion in emergency appropriations to address the immediate humanitarian crisis at our Southwest border, of which $1.1 billion would support DHS efforts. It has been seven weeks since the Administration’s request for supplemental funding and Congress has yet to act.