WESLACO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Gov. Greg Abbott announced stage one of a series of strategies to address immigration at the Texas – Mexico border during a press conference held in the Rio Grande Valley Wednesday.
Abbott was joined by Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw, Adjutant General of Texas Maj. Gen. Thomas Suelzer, and Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd.
The Department of Homeland Security announced that on May 23 it would end the Trump-era policy that allows for the rapid expulsion of migrants at the border and blocks them from seeking asylum.
Texas officials say they are preparing for an “influx” of migrants in the months to come.
Abbott stated there would be several strategies that Texas would put forth in order to prepare.
One of the strategies would address vehicles at the border. The governor stated DPS would conduct zero-tolerance inspections on commercial trucks at international ports of entry.
Abbott also stated that this would slow traffic from Mexico into Texas.
The second strategy aims to help reduce the burden on local communities. Abbott stated Texas would provide charter busses to transport migrants to Washington D.C. He later added that the first destination would be the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
The third strategy includes creating blockades along the border to help deter large groups of individuals attempting to cross illegally.
Those blockades would include boats on the Rio Grande and container blockades.
Abbott stated that the National Guard would begin preparation Thursday. They will also be provided with gear to combat violence if necessary.
The governor ended the press conference by stating that other stages would be announced next week.
Title 42 is a Trump-era policy that allows for the rapid expulsion of migrants at the border and blocks them from seeking asylum.
The Department of Homeland Security announced that on May 23 it would end.
After considering current public health conditions and an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19 (such as highly effective vaccines and therapeutics), the CDC Director has determined that an Order suspending the right to introduce migrants into the United States is no longer necessary.CDC Public Health Determination and Termination of Title 42 Order
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released a statement following the announcement of the order.
“Once the Title 42 Order is no longer in place, DHS will process individuals encountered at the border pursuant to Title 8, which is the standard procedure we use to place individuals in removal proceedings.”
On Monday, McAllen mayor, Javier Villalobos, voiced his concern in a video shared on social media, warning that the area may soon “experience an immigration surge like we’ve never experienced.”
While the origin of this surge was not clarified in the video, a McAllen spokesperson confirmed Villalobos is referring to the repeal of Title 42.
Republican leaders have negatively responded to the repeal of Title 42 and as of Monday, Missouri, Arizona, and Louisiana have filed lawsuits against the Biden administration for the decision.