As feds buckle under border influx, Abbott surges TX forces to shut 6 crossing points; awards contract for border wall

As feds buckle under border influx, Abbott surges TX forces to shut 6 crossing points; awards contract for border wall
Migrants cross the Rio Grande near Del Rio, TX in an uninterrupted stream. Twitter, Breaking 911 video clip

On Thursday 16 September, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas National Guard would be deployed to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in closing six points of entry from Mexico.

Abbott said CBP had requested help, as the federal agency’s capabilities were completely overwhelmed by a tide of migrants swarming across the border in unprecedented numbers.

Fox’s Bill Melugin reported the number of migrants awaiting processing under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas having jumped from 8,200 to 9,300 in just a few hours on Thursday.  Video shows an uninterrupted stream of migrants walking unimpeded from Mexico into the U.S. across the Rio Grande.

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(In the video in the Breaking 911 tweet, notice that the observation post on the Mexico side is empty, and there are no Mexican sentries in sight.  This mirrors reports that Mexico ceased any real effort to stem the tide of migrants over the border months ago.)

As indicated, the mayor of Del Rio, Bruno Lozano, says some 20,000 more migrants are reportedly on the way in Mexico.

Melugin reports the migrants are mostly Haitian.  Worth pondering, as the Haitians aren’t swimming from Haiti to Mexico, nor are they making the journey in leaky small boats.  These are people who have a way to purchase transport from Haiti to either Mexico or a point south of Mexico (probably Guatemala).

They’re not destitute, in other words.  Certainly many of them would rather be in the U.S. than in Haiti after a coup and a major earthquake.  But that’s what aid and engaged foreign policy are for.  The U.S. could help stabilize Haiti and much improve Haitians’ prospects in their own home country – if we were making a truly active effort to do so.  There are plenty of regional nations capable of assisting such an effort, if we provided the right leadership.

Why aren’t the Haitians surging into Florida in such numbers?  Biden said we wouldn’t let them.  The administration awarded “temporary protected status” to Haitians in the U.S. in late May, but that covers Haitians who can arrange to “already” be here.  Coming in through the overwhelmed Texas border, where migrants are forwarded inland by CBP with virtually no processing and simply released into the U.S. population, is a way to do that.

The number of Haitians able to fund a circuitous journey using paid transportation testifies to the non-destitute condition of their effort, and which Haitians are making it.  We ought to help the Haitians recover from their nation’s recent disasters – but there is no moral obligation for the U.S. to simply take in more and more of the population of Haiti.  Especially without lawful immigration processing under our own statutes.

Later on Thursday, Abbott said the original CBP request for help had been withdrawn (or perhaps, it appears, repudiated by DHS).

But the Texas force surge is to go ahead, with the mission to “maintain their presence at and around ports of entry to deter crossings.”

This move by Texas – a measure taken in extremis; no state can simply “manage” such a massive influx occurring on such a short timeline – isn’t the only one that will set up a face-off with the Biden federal government.

On Thursday, Texas also awarded the contract for a state-built border wall.  This is the wall Abbott announced in June he would seek funding for.

In June, Gov. Greg Abbott, who has been a critic of President Joe Biden’s immigration policies, announced a crowdfunding effort to pay for the wall and other barriers such as fencing. Abbott pledged $250 million in state money to start the effort.

As of August 31, $54 million has been donated by the public, and earlier this month the state Legislature sent a bill allocating $1.88 billion in additional funds for border security to Abbott’s desk. Of those funds, $750 million will be used to build border barriers. The governor has not yet signed the bill into law.

Abbott’s office has previously said it identified 733 miles that may need some type of barrier along the state’s 1,200-mile border with Mexico.

Presumably the Biden administration will combine threats and lawsuits to prevent Texas from defending itself against this unsustainable onslaught.  Only time will tell if some accommodation can be reached that allows the Biden agencies to kick the can down the road and keep the influx coming.

Abbott has critics (who incidentally illustrate the governor’s excellent reason for taking these policy steps).

 

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.

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