On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas National Guard to begin assisting troopers with arresting illegal immigrants who violate Texas law as thousands continue pouring across the United States-Mexico.
“To respond to this disaster and secure the rule of law at our Southern border, more manpower is needed—in addition to the troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and soldiers from the Texas National Guard I have already deployed there—and DPS needs help in arresting those who are violating state law,” Abbott wrote in a letter to Maj. Gen. Tracy R. Norris, adjutant general of the Texas National Guard.
“By virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, I hereby order that the Texas National Guard assist DPS in enforcing Texas law by arresting lawbreakers at the border,” he continued.
Abbott’s announcement builds on a broader effort launched earlier this month in which Texas law enforcement started jailing illegal immigrants who were caught trespassing on private land. According to The Associated Press, the arrests in Texas have so far taken place in Val Verde County, where local officials were notified that individuals traveling alone, not family units, would be arrested. Detainees are being held at a previously empty prison in Dilley, Texas, roughly 100 miles north of Laredo.
County Judge Lewis Owens said crime is on the rise in the county of almost 50,000 residents, including home break-ins, theft and property damage.
Despite the increased state efforts to combat illegal immigration and local crime that is rising as a result, President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last Friday announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is canceling two Texas border barrier projects that include 31 miles of border wall construction, asserting they “are not necessary to address any life, safety, environmental or other remediation requirements.”
“The [Biden] Administration also continues to call on Congress to cancel remaining border wall funding and instead fund smarter border security measures, like border technology and modernization of land ports of entry, that are proven to be more effective at improving safety and security at the border,” the DHS said.