Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration in southern Texas in response to the border crisis, his office announced Tuesday.
Abbott authorized the use of all state and local resources to protect border county residents from trespassers, according to a news release.
Officials were also directed to enforce all federal and state criminal laws including smuggling, human trafficking and trespassing.
“President Biden’s open-border policies have paved the way for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to pour into our communities,” Abbott said in the release.
“Meanwhile, landowners along the border are seeing their property damaged and vandalized on a daily basis while the Biden Administration does nothing to protect them.
“Texas continues to step up to confront the border crisis in the federal government’s absence, but more must be done.”
Issuing a disaster declaration along Texas’ southern border in response to the border crisis.
This declaration provides more resources and strategies to combat the ongoing influx of unlawful immigrants.
More details: https://t.co/U2uJUESofr
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) June 1, 2021
Abbott instructed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to close all federally contracted detention facilities holding illegal migrants, including facilities that house unaccompanied children.
Counties may designate alternative facilities to detain illegal migrants or expand capacity as they see fit.
“By declaring a state of disaster in these counties, Texas will have more resources and strategies at our disposal to protect landowners and enforce all federal and state laws to combat criminal activities stemming from the border crisis,” Abbott said.
“Working together with local law enforcement, the state will continue to take robust and meaningful action to keep our communities safe.”
Abbott asked the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to simplify licensing and transfer procedures and to help staff detention facilities.
Abbott did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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