AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that he will be deploying 1,000 additional National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border amid what’s being called a “crisis.”
At a surprise news conference, Abbott talked about the influx of illegal immigration into the U.S. through Texas in 2019. He said the amount of immigrants who have crossed into Texas illegally this year would add up to the population of one of the large cities in Texas.
Abbott said the addition of the troops helps to add more security to the border. He said the deployment will be paid for 100% by the federal government.
During the news conference, Abbott condemned Congress for not addressing the border situation.
“My message to them is Congress is a group of reprobates for not addressing the crisis at our border. We’re not going to stand idly by and endanger the lives and safety of the state of Texas because Congress is refusing to do its job,” Abbott said.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also responded to a question about the conditions of the holding facilities, specifically involving a recent report regarding neglected children at one facility. He placed the blame on Congress.
“If those facts turn out to be true [with] that facility with those children, it is directly on Congress. It is not on the men and women of Border Patrol. It is not on the men and women of Texas. It’s not on the taxpayers of Texas. It’s on Congress,” Patrick said. “It’s their responsibility. They’re not providing the funds needed that have been asked for time and time again by Border Patrol or ICE or any of the law enforcement agencies. They sit there on their hands and do nothing.”
House Speaker Dennis Bonnen supported the governor’s decision about securing the border.
“As a longtime advocate for border security, I support today’s announcement as yet another example of Texas stepping up and filling in the gaps where the federal government has fallen short,” Bonnen said. “I have worked with Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, and lawmakers in past legislative sessions to secure our border and ensure the safety of our citizens, and will continue to support measures to do so as we call on Washington to fulfill their duty to protect our citizens.”
According to Abbott, this deployment will also be in addition to the $800 million that the legislature appropriated to help fix a “broken immigration system.”
The National Guard troops are expected to assist at new temporary holding facilities in El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley for single adults. They will also help at ports of entry for commerce.