A press release from the governor's office stated that he also "thanked law enforcement for their steadfast partnership in mitigating the influx of dangerous criminals, lethal drugs and illegal contraband into communities across Texas," as well as affirmed the state's support of all law enforcement.
"Texans demand and deserve an aggressive, comprehensive strategy to secure our border – not President [Joe] Biden's lackluster leadership," Abbott said. "As the federal government continues to roll back commonsense policies that once kept our communities safe, our local law enforcement has stepped up to protect Texans from dangerous criminals, deadly drugs and illegal contraband flooding into the Lone Star State."
Abbott added that "Texas will always be a law-and-order state" and that he thanks the law enforcement officers who have "answered the call to protect and serve their fellow Texans in the federal government's absence in securing our border."
The press release from Abbott's office goes on to state that the governor has taken "significant action" to secure the border, including signing laws that provide $3 billion in funding for the state's border security efforts; launching Operation Lone Star and deploying National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to the border; and issuing a disaster declaration for the so-called border crisis, among other things.
The release also states that Abbott is taking "aggressive action" to secure the border as President Biden ends Title 42, the public health policy that former President Donald Trump started during the COVID-19 pandemic. That policy allows the government to quickly expel migrants and asylum seekers who come to the U.S. from countries where an infectious disease, like coronavirus, is present.
Last week, Abbott announced that Texas will bus any people who are undocumented and cross the U.S. border from Mexico to the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. A statement from the White House said border security is up to the federal government, not state governments.
Abbott's primary border security mission, Operation Lone Star, has faced ongoing criticism. A Texas Tribune report last month found that earlier this year, about 30 Texas National Guard members were ordered to stand watch outside some of the wealthiest private ranches in South Texas – more than an hour's drive away from the border.
A different Tribune report, published in February, shared responses from a leaked morale survey of Texas Air National Guard troops on the border. Many detailed negative experiences.
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