Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state troopers on Wednesday to begin stopping and inspecting commercial vehicles coming across the U.S-Mexico border and said bus charters would be offered to take illegal migrants to Washington, D.C., in a dig at President Biden and Congress.
With only seven weeks to go until the Biden administration lifts the Title 42 immigration order, Abbott announced multiple measures to protect his state and combat the massive influx of migrants anticipated to cross the border this spring.
“To help local officials – because communities are being overwhelmed by hordes of illegal immigrants who are being dropped off by the Biden Administration – Texas is providing charter buses for these illegal immigrants who have been dropped off to Washington, D.C.,” the Republican governor said Wednesday.
“We are sending them to the United States capital where the Biden administration will be able to more immediately address the needs of the people that they are allowing to come across our border,” he added.
Soon after, Abbott signed an order directing the Texas Division of Emergency Management to head up the operation.
Texas officials also said they would begin “increased military activity” on the southern border and install razor wire at some low-water along the river to deter migrants from crossing.
Flanked by Texas troopers in the border city of Weslaco, Abbott acknowledged that additional inspections of commercial vehicles near the U.S. ports of entry will “dramatically slow” vehicle traffic coming into the county.
Following the governor’s press conference, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said Abbott is clearly “trying to make a point to DC lawmakers” on the issue.
Abbott announced several other measures including inspections of commercial vehicles entering the state from Mexico as many of them, the governor claimed, “smuggle immigrants and other illegal cargo into Texas and onto our roads.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety will conduct “enhanced safety inspections” as vehicles cross at international points of entry.
While Abbott admitted the measure will “dramatically slow traffic from Mexico,” he claimed it will “immediately help ensure that Texans are not in danger.”
Additionally, the Republican revealed that beginning Thursday the National Guard will begin its “first phase of mass migration rehearsal,” to prepare for the anticipated surge of people across the border later this spring.
Abbott said the National Guard troops will be equipped with riot gear to preempt “potential caravan violence.”
The governor also announced that the state will implement blockades on roads leading to border towns.
Wednesday’s announcement is only the first stage in a two-part process of preparing for the lifting of Title 42 in May, Abbott said, hinting that additional announcements will come later this week.
"Over the course between today and next week. Texas will continue to evaluate, press, and oppose the Biden administration’s open border policies and announce additional actions next week to respond to these unprecedented illegal border crossings,” he continued.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that Title 42 will be lifted on May 23.
First imposed in March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, the order has allowed border officials to immediately expel nearly 2 million migrants who have attempted to enter the US without hearing asylum claims.
While local border officials have warned that the administration has “no plan” in preparing for hundreds of thousands of migrants expected the cross the border, the Department of Defense confirmed to The Post on Wednesday that it will be providing “some” support.
Specifically, the limited support will include contracting 40 commercial buses to transport migrants from border ports of entry to other locations for processing, as well as having medical personnel on standby.
The Pentagon is also planning to provide “land sites on DoD military installations for processing of migrants,” as well as providing lodging for Federal employees working on the mission if needed.
As of now, the Pentagon is not planning to send additional troops directly to the border but seemed open to considering.
“The Department has been supporting this DHS-led mission since 2006, spanning the Bush, Obama, Trump, and now the Biden administrations along the way. If DHS were to send a request for continued assistance along the border, DoD would consider it,” Defense Department spokesman LTC Chris Mitchell told The Post.