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Texas Gov. Abbott Again Deploys National Guard to Aid Border Arrests

August 25, 2021 by Reece Nations
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott attends a security briefing at the Weslaco Department of Public Safety DPS Headquarters on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 in Weslaco, Texas. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

AUSTIN, Texas —  Texas National Guardsmen will once again be assisting Department of Public Safety troopers in arresting individuals caught crossing the border into the U.S.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made the announcement Tuesday saying in addition to assisting with the arrests, the National Guard will also be constructing initial phases of border barriers and a border wall. Abbott has been at odds with federal immigration enforcement of the “catch-and-release” policy reinstituted by the Biden administration in what he has characterized as a “constitutional crisis” between federal and state governments.

Abbott previously deployed the state National Guard in late July to aid DPS in apprehending individuals on state charges related to the border crisis, TWN reported.

“The Texas National Guard is playing an unprecedented role to secure the border because of the unprecedented refusal of the federal government to fulfill its obligations under federal law,” Abbott said in a written statement.

Issuing additional funding for border security was a priority agenda item of both of the state’s special legislative sessions, the latest of which commenced earlier this month. In July, U.S. Border Patrol reported 199,777 encounters with migrants along the Mexico border — the highest monthly total since March 2000.

On Saturday, Abbott convened a call with members of the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition and county judges from border communities to discuss the rapid influx of migrant’s crossing the border and to provide an update on the state’s human trafficking prevention activities, known as “Operation Lone Star.”

The Biden administration has taken steps to ramp up deportations and prosecutions of migrants amid the surge in unlawful border crossings. President Joe Biden extended the Trump administration-era “Title 42 public health authority,” which U.S. authorities are using to fly Central American migrants to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in an effort to reduce the recurrence of illegal entries and the spread of COVID-19.

“Anyone who does not have a legal basis under U.S. law to be in the United States will be returned to their home countries and will not be allowed to stay here,” chief of U.S. Border Patrol’s operations directorate, Manuel Padilla, said during a press call. “Developing a just, orderly, and humane immigration system includes expanding the legal pathways of the United States and also discouraging irregular migration. Simply, what we want to discourage is irregular migration. Asylum and other avenues of legal migration must be readily available to those in need. But people who do not meet the requirements will be quickly returned to their country of origin.”

Padilla continued, “[The Department of Homeland Security] will continue to process individuals in accordance with the Title 42 order, updated by the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. This is an effort to reduce the deployment of COVID-19 to the United States and the region. Additionally, certain recently arrived families who cannot be deported or removed under Title 42, and who do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States, are subject to expedited deportation to their home country under the verification program.”

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