Appearing with Abbott were Governors Doug Ducey (R-AZ), Brian Kemp (R-GA), Brad Little (R-ID), Kim Reynolds (R-IA), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Kevin Stitt (R-OK), and Mark Gordon (R-WY). Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd also addressed the media.
Abbott contended that United States Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas has been a “disaster” and that “no one should put any trust or confidence in anything that he says.”
“I cannot count the number of misrepresentations that have been made by Secretary Mayorkas. He has continuously misled the American public, including even saying that the border is closed and secure, which could be nothing further from the truth,” the governor said.
“I believe Congress should investigate and call upon the resignation of Secretary Mayorkas for abandoning his job, not doing what the Secretary of Homeland Security is supposed to do, which among other things means supporting and deploying border patrol, which are completely lacking and inadequate down here.”
Other governors highlighted the ways the border crisis is affecting their states. The theme of their remarks was a concern about the growing number of fentanyl overdose deaths and human trafficking.
Ducey referenced the Del Rio encampment of thousands of mostly Haitian illegal aliens who arrived after a series of policy moves by the Biden administration that made it appear more likely they would be allowed to stay.
“It’s a tragedy, and I can tell you the border situation is just as out of control in the State of Arizona,” Ducey said.
The event took place as news broke of the shooting at Timberview High School in Arlington, in which four individuals were reportedly injured. Abbott briefly addressed the shooting prior to discussing border issues and noted that the suspect possessed the weapon he used in the attack illegally.
Abbott and the GOP governors accompanying him outlined a “10-point plan” to address illegal crossings. Many of these recommendations were reiterations of positions Republicans have already widely advocated since President Biden took office.
They included continuing the use of Title 42 statutes that allow the quick expulsion of illegal aliens during the pandemic and bringing back the “remain in Mexico policy,” known officially as the Migrant Protection Protocols. The governors also advocated the deportation of criminals, sending more federal law enforcement, increased funding for anti-trafficking efforts, and renewing agreements with Northern Triangle countries to keep immigration under control.
In August, the United States Supreme Court ordered the feds to reinstate the remain in Mexico policy. Abbott said that the Biden administration is “refusing” to do so, though the Department of Homeland Security has claimed it is making a good faith effort to restore it.
The event landed in the middle of a month in which Mayorkas reportedly fears there could be more illegal crossings than in a single month throughout the border crisis so far.
Mayorkas reportedly was exploring whether his department could handle a deluge of 350,000 to 400,000 illegal crossings this month.
Abbott is shoring up conservative support as he faces a fierce primary challenge from his Republican opponents, Don Huffines, Allen West, and Chad Prather. All three candidates have blasted the governor for what they consider to be an ineffective response to the illegal immigration disaster.
Governor Kristi Noem (R-SD) was originally slated to attend the event, but Abbott’s office later confirmed that she had backed out.
Noem’s staff did not return The Texan’s request for comment.
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- Alejandro Mayorkas
- Allen West
- Anzalduas Park
- border crisis
- border disaster
- Brad Little
- Brandon Judd
- Brian Kemp
- Chad Prather
- Don Huffiness
- Doug Ducey
- Greg Abbott
- Greg Gianforte
- Illegal Immigration
- Kevin Stitt
- Kim Reynolds
- Kristi Noem
- Mark Gordon
- Mike DeWine
- Steve McCraw
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."