The Border Patrol has advised the White House about the growing immigration crisis at the U.S. border, but the Biden administration has not responded or escalated efforts to alleviate the problem, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who toured his state line by helicopter Tuesday.
"The Biden administration continues to basically refuse to even admit the involvement and the necessity of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) being involved in the process," the Republican governor said on Fox News' "America Reports." "It is ICE that is involved in that detention process. It is ICE that has its detention facilities overrun. It is ICE that needs to expand those facilities because of the people coming across the border illegally."
Abbott pointed to the growing numbers of people coming in as evidence that a crisis is at hand, and said it's still early in the year and the emergency will get much worse.
"If you look at the Rio Grande Valley region, the number of people who were apprehended last year was about 90,000," Abbott said. "In just the first two-and-a-half months of this year alone, there was far more than that, about 108,000."
These numbers include 800 criminal immigrants, including people who were previously arrested in the United States and deported, said Abbott.
"Included in those are 76 sex offenders and 62 gang members, including MS-13 gang members," said Abbott. "This is not only a numerical crisis, it is a very dangerous situation."
The crisis is a direct result of the Biden administration's policy shift, said Abbott, and comes from the elimination of Trump's remain-in-Mexico policy, which is "what has suddenly allowed so many people to come back in."
Also, Biden stopped the policy requiring that people be returned to their own countries, said Abbott.
He praised the Texas sLegislature for providing $800 million a year in the state budget to pay for law enforcement officers, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the National Guard, and boats, helicopters, and more to keep track of what is happening and to allow boots on the ground.
"Texas is doing what the federal government should be doing," said Abbott. "Immigration is a federal responsibility and because the Biden administration is not doing it, the state of Texas has to step up and use every tool that we can to try to help secure the border."
The situation is a "self-inflicted wound" for the Biden administration, he added.
"The Biden administration has known what was going to happen if they refused to continue to implement the policies that were previously in place," said Abbott. "You've seen from the sheer numbers alone that we already have more people who have been apprehended this year alone than all of last year."
He added that the Border Patrol has told him that "100%" of the children arriving at the border have been brought there through drug cartels, not their families.
"Once they get kids across the border and the Border Patrol agents have to deal with those kids, that's when the drug cartels bring in the more dangerous criminals who get paid more, pay more to the cartels including the very dangerous drugs coming across the border," said Abbott. "The cartels know exactly what they're doing. "It's called 'flooding the zone,' to preoccupy the Border Patrol. That's when they can wreak the havoc."
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