Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Sunday that he is expanding the deployment of troops to control the southern US border, citing the need to protect it from a perceived migrant “invasion.” This move comes as the Biden administration accuses him of exceeding his authority.
Abbott, accompanied by 13 fellow Republican state governors, made the announcement at Shelby Park in the Texan city of Eagle Pass, which provides access to the Rio Grande River, the natural boundary between the United States and Mexico.
In a news conference, Abbott stated, “We are here to convey a strong message that we are uniting to ensure the preservation of our constitutional guarantee, allowing states to defend against any imminent danger or invasion.”
Eagle Pass, located approximately 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Quemado, has become a focal point of conflict between Abbott and the Biden administration. The federal government is suing Abbott for taking control of Shelby Park and installing barbed wire along the riverbank.
In mid-January, the Biden administration raised concerns that Texas national guardsmen had obstructed federal border police from reaching the river to rescue three migrants, who tragically drowned. Texas has refuted this accusation.
Biden has escalated the matter to the US Supreme Court, which has authorized the removal of the barbed wire. Despite this, Abbott remains defiant, ordering additional fencing and gaining support from Republican governors who are deploying their own guardsmen and resources to the border.
“The Texas National Guard is expanding operations beyond this park. We are extending our efforts to other areas to enhance deterrence and prevent illegal entry into the United States,” Abbott affirmed.
Abbott, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, known for emphasizing immigration control in his 2016 campaigns, openly questions the Biden administration’s authority, accusing it of “deliberate inaction” in response to a surge in border crossings.
As a convoy of activists named “God’s army” arrived at the southern Texas border to protest what they perceive as a migrant “invasion,” Abbott claimed that neighborhoods, businesses, and golf courses in Eagle Pass have been “invaded.” However, protesting residents dismissed these claims while expressing opposition to the heavy military presence in the area.
On Sunday night, the US Senate revealed a bipartisan deal between Democrats and Republicans, unlocking billions in new aid for Ukraine and Israel while also tightening US border laws.