Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday called for the federal government to pay the bill for costs incurred to protect the state from crimes occurring as a result of the crisis at the southern border.
Abbott has criticized the administration of President Joe Biden for the surge in illegal immigration that has swamped facilities designed to hold migrants and resulted in many illegal immigrants who are detained being turned loose in Texas communities.
Noting the role of drug cartels and human smugglers in the border crisis, Abbott last month announced the creation of Operation Lone Star to have Texas law enforcement agencies, led by the Texas Department of Public Safety, focus on human trafficking and other crimes taking place during the surge.
“We’re asking the federal government to reimburse Texas for the costs that we are incurring because of this,” Abbott said Thursday during an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity.”
“Sue them if they don’t give it to you,” host Sean Hannity fired back.
Earlier in the interview, Abbott said that “with Biden’s open border policies, it brings in a lot of crime that Texas law enforcement is stepping up and having to address.”
Abbott said Texas has arrested almost 600 criminals in the four weeks since the governor kicked off Operation Lone Star.
He also said state authorities have detained more than 16,000 people who were in Texas illegally. Those individuals were turned over to the Border Patrol, he added.
Abbott noted that some of those detained were accused of sex crimes involving underage children.
In one case, he said, smugglers threw a six-month-old child into the Rio Grande. The child was rescued by Texas authorities.
The mother of the baby, in that case, paid $3,500 to cross the border with her child, according to KVEO-TV. She was in a raft with 67 adults and 150 children when the March 16 incident happened.
HORRIFIC: The 6-month-old baby girl was thrown out of a raft into the Rio Grande by smugglers, officials say >> https://t.co/b7nSVmRLgj
— WIS News 10 (@wis10) April 1, 2021
“These are types of reckless criminal behavior that Texas is having to step up and respond to,” Abbott said.
Abbott said the Biden administration is among the law-breakers amid the border crisis.
“So the Biden administration, I believe, is clearly in violation of what the federal standards are,” he said.
“And as we have found in the Midland location, for example, not only did we find that more than 10 percent of the unaccompanied minors at the Midland facility had tested positive for COVID, but also we found a lack of safety in the region, such as not having adequate fencing or guarding around it.”
“In addition to that, there was no adequate running water at that particular facility,” Abbott continued.
“There is still indeterminate matters about whether or not it’s a safe location for them at that location, as well as other locations. And the reason for that is because the Biden administration is allowing so many people in.”
Abbott said illegal immigrants have little fear of being caught.
“We were flying over today, Sean, in the middle of the day,” he said. “It used to be that these people would come over at night, not during the day, but in the middle of the day, there were busloads after busloads after busloads of people who were loading buses, who had just come across the border, as we were flying over today.”
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