ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order today authorizing and empowering the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety to apprehend illegal immigrants who illegally cross the border between ports of entry and return them to the border. This decisions comes on the heels of historic levels of illegal crossings, with 5,000 migrants being apprehended over the July 4th weekend.

“While President Biden refuses to do his job and enforce the immigration laws enacted by Congress, the State of Texas is once again stepping up and taking unprecedented action to protect Americans and secure our southern border,” said Governor Abbott. “The cartels have become emboldened and enriched by President Biden’s open border policies, smuggling in record numbers of people, weapons, and deadly drugs like fentanyl.”

As noted in the executive order, the Biden Administration “has abandoned the covenant, in Article IV, § 4 of the U.S. Constitution, that ‘[t]he United States . . . shall protect each [State in this Union] against Invasion,’ and thus has forced the State of Texas to build a border wall, deploy state military forces, and enter into agreements as described in Article I, § 10 of the U.S. Constitution to secure the State of Texas and repel the illegal immigration that funds the cartels.” 

“I have authorized the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to begin returning illegal immigrants to the border to stop this criminal enterprise endangering our communities,” continued Governor Abbott. “As the challenges on the border continue to increase, Texas will continue to take action to address those challenges caused by the Biden Administration.”

Read the Governor’s executive order here. 

Governor Abbott has taken significant action to secure the border in the wake of the federal government’s inaction. Those actions include:

  • Securing $4 billion in funding for Texas’ border security efforts
  • Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers
  • Arresting and jailing criminals trespassing or committing other state crimes along the southern border
  • Allocating resources that include acquiring 1,700 unused steel panels to build the border wall in Texas
  • Signing a law to make it easier to prosecute smugglers bringing people into Texas
  • Signing 15 laws cracking down on human trafficking in Texas
  • Signing a law enhancing penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl
  • Issuing a disaster declaration for the border crisis
  • Issuing an executive order preventing non-governmental entities from transporting illegal immigrants
  • Taking aggressive action to secure the border as President Biden ends Title 42 expulsions, including busing migrants to Washington, D.C.
  • Signing memoranda of understanding between the State of Texas and the States of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to enhance border security measures that will prevent illegal immigration from Mexico to Texas
  • Activating the Joint Border Security Operations Center (JBSOC) and directing the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Military Department, and Texas Division of Emergency Management to coordinate Texas’ response to secure the border 
  • Creating DPS strike teams and establishing new vehicle inspection checkpoints targeting semi-truck.

Read more on additional actions taken by the Governor to secure the border.