Gov. Greg Abbott (R) says sheriffs along the Mexican border need to start preparing now for an influx of migrants headed to Texas.
The governor spoke to the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition in El Paso Monday morning. He said with Title 42 ending in May the Biden Administration has said the state could see about 18,000 people coming across the border every day for the next year.
"It is going to completely overwhelm law enforcement capabilities in all of these communities but especially in the smaller populated communities where the law enforcement officers, numerically, are not going to be able to keep up with the level of activity that's taking place on the ground," Abbott said. "It's going to lead to extraordinary demands on health services on community services … for every single county, especially in the border region, but candidly across the state of Texas. I think communities are not prepared for it."
Abbott said last week that roughly six million people could cross the border in the coming year, from May to May, based on the Biden Administration's estimate. That's nearly as many people as the 7.6 million who live in the Metroplex.
Last week Abbott announced that he was planning on filling charter buses with migrants who've crossed the border and would direct those buses to the nation's capital.
"Texas is providing charter buses to send these illegal immigrants that have been dropped off by the Biden Administration to Washington, D.C. We are sending them to the U.S. Capital where the Biden Administration can more immediately address the needs of the people they are allowing to cross the border," Abbott said last week.
The governor told the sheriffs Monday every county has access to a bus to send migrants to Washington D.C. or another Texas city that'll be able to better handle a large number of people.
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"If [the] Border Patrol drops people off in your county, you will be able to work with the state to transport those people out of your county to a location where they will immediately connected with either Border Patrol officials, ICE officials, or other appropriate federal officials," Abbott said.
In a statement released after the governor's announcement last week, the governor's office said only migrants who volunteer to be transported will be allowed on the buses and that they must show documentation from the Department of Homeland Security.
Title 42 is a pandemic-era emergency health order that allowed the U.S. Border Patrol to turn away migrants at the border. The Biden Administration said the order will end on May 23.