Abbott empowers National Guard, public safety department to apprehend illegal immigrants

by Will Tubbs

Lauren Moye, FISM News


The Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will now be filling the gap in border enforcement created by the Biden administration’s failure to contain mass migration along the southern border.

The action was taken days after multiple overwhelmed border counties in the state petitioned Gov. Greg Abbott for additional resources to help against a historically high surge in illegal immigration attempts.

Abbott signed an executive order Thursday that authorized both the Guard and state DPS to apprehend illegal immigrants and return them to the border. In addition to citing safety concerns from the cartel and the 42 known individuals from the U.S. terrorist watchlist who illegally crossed, Abbott also noted that immigrants themselves risked their lives in a journey that can “prove fatal,” as seen in the tragic loss of 53 lives in a smuggler’s truck.

“While President Biden refuses to do his job and enforce the immigration laws enacted by Congress, the State of Texas is once again stepping up and taking unprecedented action to protect Americans and secure our southern border,” Abbott said in the official press release.

The empowerment of the two groups was made necessary by “President Biden’s failure to protect our border,” according to the Executive Order GA-41. The inaction included a failure to follow immigration laws despite May’s record-setting migrant encounters and Biden’s death blow to Title 42, which allowed immigrants to immediately be turned away due to health and public safety concerns.

Abbott added, “The cartels have become emboldened and enriched by President Biden’s open border policies, smuggling in record numbers of people, weapons, and deadly drugs like fentanyl.”

The order appeals to the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 and Article IV of the state’s constitution as the basis for its authority. The former allows Texas governors to issue executive orders to address “dangers to the state and people” from disasters. State law allows state military forces to enforce the law when needed.

On Tuesday, multiple local authorities across Texas-Mexico border counties declared an “invasion” from the unchecked quantity of immigrants illegally crossing. They formally asked Abbott to respond accordingly by adding resources.

In a joint news conference, Kinney County Judge Tulley Shahan declared “we are being invaded. They’re coming to a neighborhood near you. America doesn’t know what’s happening here.”

The picture painted was bleak, one of destruction, property damage, safety concerns, and “carnage.” Goliad County Judge Mike Bennett said, “This is not a situation where we’re helping these migrants come across. It’s a situation where many are dying along the way.”

Fentanyl, cartel, and human trafficking were also all points of concern on July 5.

At the end of May, Immigration and Customs Enforcement rescued 70 human trafficking victims ranging between ages 10 and 17 primarily from western Texas counties in Operation Lost Souls. Meanwhile, in February, border agents seized a record amount of Fentanyl. Despite this, there have been at least seven massive fentanyl overdose events in the U.S. since January.

While Abbott did not formally declare the crisis an invasion, he did promise citizens that “Texas will continue to take action to address those challenges caused by the Biden Administration.”

Abbott has acknowledged Texas does not have the constitutional authority to enforce federal immigration law. However, they can return apprehended migrants back to the border.