Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) says the state will begin enhanced vehicle inspections at the border and will send migrants to Washington D.C. on charter buses in response to the federal government ending Title 42 expulsions next month.
In a news conference Wednesday, Abbott said the Biden Administration's open border policies have led to a record number of undocumented people crossing into the United States and that with the announced end of Title 42 expulsions next month, up to 18,000 people may attempt to cross the border every day.
The governor said with that number of people potentially showing up at the border, more people may have illegally crossed the border into the United States by the end of the year than are living in Los Angeles.
"It is unprecedented and it is dangerous," Abbott said Wednesday.
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The governor said he is directing the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Division of Emergency Management to take unprecedented action this month, "to do what no state in America has ever done in the history of this country to better secure our state as well as our nation."
Abbott said he is enhancing Operation Lone Star, the joint border security effort undertaken by the Texas DPS and the Texas Military Department, with new strategies to help further curtail the flow of migrants, drugs, and cartel smuggling.
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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke responded to Abbott's plans Wednesday saying, “If Abbott focused on solutions instead of stunts, then Texas could have made some real progress on this issue over the last seven years.”
ENHANCED SAFETY INSPECTIONS FOR VEHICLES ENTERING TEXAS
The first strategy Abbott mentioned Wednesday was for the DPS to conduct enhanced safety inspections of vehicles as they cross the international points of entry into Texas.
Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw said they would begin the inspections at 4 p.m. Wednesday at 20 locations along the border. McCraw said the inspections will not take place on federal property and that probable cause is not needed to stop a vehicle for a safety inspection.
"It's our job to ensure that every commercial vehicle is safe and the driver is safe as well. If not, we'll put them out of service," McCraw said.
Abbott admitted Wednesday the enhanced safety inspections will slow traffic from Mexico into Texas.
CHARTER BUSES TO TAKE MIGRANTS TO D.C.
The governor said he is also directing Texas DEM Director Nim Kidd to put the "hordes of illegal immigrants" overwhelming Texas border communities on charter buses bound for 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 the buses will take the migrants who have been processed and released from federal custody from Texas to the steps of the U.S. Capitol building. But before getting on the bus, the governor's office said in a statement after the governor's announcement that migrants must volunteer to be transported and must show documentation from the Department of Homeland Security.
Kidd said the state has previously used up to 900 buses for evacuations and that they will use as many buses as they need to follow the governor's directive.
RAZOR WIRE, BLOCKADES GOING TO RIO GRANDE CROSSINGS
Abbott said the DPS and TMD will add boat blockades and install razor-wire at low-water crossings and high-traffic areas, and install container blockades to stem the flow of illegal crossings across the Rio Grande River.
The governor said the TMD will also begin running mass-migration rehearsals this week and that all DPS troopers and specially trained Texas National Guard soldiers will be given riot gear in case of violence among caravans and migrants gathering along the border.
Abbott said there will be more announcements next week of action he plans to take to slow migration at the border.