Texas will begin a "surge operation" to try to stem the tide of illegal immigrants, state Attorney General Greg Abbott said.
"Texas is not going to wait any longer. Yesterday we announced that we are providing the funding that is needed to the Texas Department of Public Safety to implement what's called a surge operation," Abbott, who is also the state's Republican gubernatorial nominee, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" on Thursday.
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An estimated 66,000 children, most of them unaccompanied by parents, have crossed the border this year
. The majority of the children are coming from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala in Central America.
Abbott said while officials had sympathy for the children, the state also had an obligation "to insure that the people of Texas and the United States are kept safe."
The operation "is going to put boots on the ground, airplanes in the air, boats on the water, that will do a significantly superior job of securing the border to stop the flow of so many people coming into the country illegally," he said.
The decision to implement the operation came after state officials contacted the Department of Homeland Security. Abbott said that after talking with federal officials, he "got the feeling that it would be months before they were able to help out in securing the border."
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