MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar)- Governor Greg Abbott is in Midland to host a roundtable discussion with local law enforcement about the ongoing crisis at the southern border and its impact on local communities throughout Texas.
Joining the Governor are Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw, Midland County Judge Terry Johnson, and law enforcement representatives from Upton, Midland, Ector, Tom Green, Dawson, Martin, Howard, and Andrews counties.
The governor said he met with law enforcement to ensure agencies had the tools to deal with several major issues, including illegal border crossings, the smuggling of humans, and the smuggling of drugs, like fentanyl and heroin.
Some key talking points during the discussion included the addition of 7,500 patrol units on the border, involving the Department of Public Safety and the National Guard.
Governor Abbott said Texas is building a border wall, and part of it will be completed by the end of the calendar year.
He also mentioned new deterrents to fentanyl distribution and human smuggling, which include harsher penalties to those convicted.
Our Rob Tooke asked Governor Abbott what it takes to provide appropriate resources to local law enforcement to implement some of the strategies he mentioned.
“The real thing it took was the $3 billion dollars we appropriated to provide those resources. Part of those resources is the razor wire we are laying down. Part of the resources is the big containers we’re putting down that create a barrier so people cannot cross into the state of Texas. Part of it is the human law enforcement resources, whether Texas DPS or the National Guard, who are authorized to arrest people in Texas. By having those human resources on the border itself, the goal is to make sure those people crossing the border don’t even make it into communities like Midland County,” Gov. Abbott said.
Governor Abbott said that law enforcement, locally and across Texas, are increasing capacity in the jail system by adding more beds. He said the purpose is to show that those who cross the border illegally will be prosecuted for trespassing.
Border Patrol agents in West Texas have seen a dramatic increase in illegal migrants since the beginning of the year. In addition, there has been an uptick in drug seizures and and human smuggling arrests.
In April, Congressman August Pfluger blasted the Biden Administration after 33 illegal migrants from Guatemala were found inside a Midland home in the 500 block of Peck Avenue.
“I am absolutely infuriated by the news that 33 Guatemalan citizens were found in a home inside the Midland city limits. Make no mistake—this is no longer a crisis at the border, this is an infiltration of our communities and our country. Over two million illegal immigrants are expected to cross the U.S.-Mexico border and be released into the interior of the country unvetted by the end of this fiscal year. Communities like ours are already paying the price,” Pfluger said in a statement.