WESLACO, Texas — Governor Abbott spoke about border security issues in an event Tuesday in the Rio Grande Valley.
The governor was in Weslaco, Texas, for a roundtable discussion with state officials and law enforcement. The topics included the state's ongoing strategies to secure the southern border in "President Joe Biden's absense."
The governor will be joined by Senator Brian Birdwell, Representative Ryan Guillen, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, Adjutant General of the Texas Military Department Major General Thomas Suelzer, and Border Czar Mike Banks.
At the State of State speech over the weekend, Gov. Abbott said he wanted to spend another $4.5 billion to secure the Texas border.
This comes after President Biden visited the Texas/Mexico border in early January. During the visit, Gov. Abbott handed the president a letter stating that the "chaos" at the border was a direct result of federal laws being insufficient. President Biden said at the time that border areas would soon be receiving federal resources.
Gov. Abbott also recently hired a "border czar". The governor said Mike Banks, a recently retired Border Patrol agent, will work with authorities to find ways to deter people from crossing the border illegally.
Since President Biden came into office, Abbott has heavily criticized the president’s immigration policies, and in March 2021, he launched Operation Lone Star — sending hundreds of National Guard soldiers and state troopers to border counties to apprehend migrants crossing the border. Hundreds of migrants have been charged with misdemeanor trespassing and are being held in prison. The state has spent more than $4 billion on the effort since Operation Lone Star began.