DEL RIO (CBSDFW.COM) -- Governor Greg Abbott, R-TX held a press conference to provide a border security update at the international bridge in Del Rio on Tuesday, September 21 where he said, "Failure to enforce laws leads to chaos [and] inhumanity."
The Governor was joined by Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, Texas Military Department Adjutant General Tracy Norris, and National Border Patrol Council President (NBPC) Brandon Judd.
"If you go back a year ago, President Biden campaigned on having an open border in the United States," said Abbott. "I'm sure most people... had no idea it would lead to the type of chaos that we witnessed just behind me for day, after day, after day."
Abbott said that President Biden's open border policies are attracting people from over 150 different countries around the world.
He said that the strategy for Texas to respond at the border was made possible by $3 Billion in funding from the Texas Legislature.
"Texas is taking unprecedented steps." said Abbott. "You can see by all of the Texas Department of Public Safety cars, as well as the national guard vehicles, that surround us here -- but go for miles on either side of where we are now. They have created a steel barrier preventing people from being able to cross the border."
Abbott said the drop in people trying to cross the border at the Del Rio location was instantaneous after that 'iron wall' of vehicles was put in place.
"We are arresting and jailing anyone who comes across the border illegally and trespasses on private property or on public land."
Abbott said that migrants are still trying to penetrate other areas of the border after they sealed the area near Del Rio. "As a result, our strategies are shifting also," said Abbott. "We will continue moving law enforcement and national guard officials to whatever location people may be crossing the border."
DPS Director Steve McCraw said Abbott was clear in his direction to DPS. "Texas doesn't need anybody's permission to protect Texas."
McCraw said they reached an all time high of 1.1 million apprehensions of people entering the country illegally this federal fiscal year. "When that happens, Texas becomes less secure because the cartels exploit those gaps," said McCraw. "That's cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, human trafficking, and all of the above. You've got a drug problem in the Untied States, you've got a cartel problem, you've got a Mexican, Texas international border problem as well."
Abbott said that border patrol officers are not getting the support they need.
"These people put on uniforms because they care. They care about these migrants. They care about the citizens of the United States", said National Border Patrol Council President, Brandon Judd. "They put that uniform on every day to protect life."
Judd said in one case, when immigrants on a bus south of Kingsville found out they were going to be sent back to Haiti, they took over the bus and fled.
"If we don't ask the question, 'Why are we here? What Caused this?' we won't fix this problem," said Judd. "The simple answer is 'catch and release.' As long as we invite people to violate our laws -- as long as we reward them for entering the country illegally then releasing them into the United States with a defacto immigration status to where they can get work permits, to where they can send their children to school where they have every right of a United States citizen -- they're going to continue to come."
Judd said the Biden Administration was warned the crisis was coming to Del Rio and they ignored it. "Had we had taken the proper steps, we wouldn't be discussing this right now, today," said Judd.
"What you see under the bridge, that is not humane," said Judd. "The Biden Administration promised that they would have a humane process... that is not humane. It is humane to properly enforce our laws. It is humane to not just give lip-service to an issue, but to actually follow it up with action."
"Brandon Judd Made a very important point," said Abbott. "Failure to enforce laws that exist in the United States, leads to chaos. And chaos leads to inhumanity."
"The Biden Administration is a man-made disaster of inhumanity -- of epic proportions," said Abbott. "It must end. It must end immediately. And the way to end it is by the Biden Administration stepping up and finally enforcing the immigration laws of the United States Of America."
Earlier this week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting an emergency declaration for the state as a result of the escalating crisis at the Texas-Mexico border.
The letter specifically noted the situation in the Val Verde County city of Del Rio, which they called 'dire'. Thousands of migrants -- mostly from Haiti -- have converged on the city about 145 miles west of San Antonio.
According to the latest Customs and Border Protection figures, more than 29,000 Haitians have arrived over the past 11 months. Some 12,000 of those are in South Texas, living in a makeshift camp near and under the Del Rio International Bridge.
Mass deportations for those migrants are underway, with more than 300 Haitians already flown back to their home country on Sunday.
The request from Gov. Abbott says, "The federal government's failure to enforce immigration laws and in particular, its failure to halt illegal crossings on a dam on federal property, which is the sole jurisdiction of the federal government, is leading to substantial burdens on local and state resources."
Abbott says the surge in asylum seeks in Del Rio is posing, "... life-threatening risks to residents of Val Verde County and is quickly overrunning law enforcement and health care and humanitarian resources."
Abbott said he has not yet heard back from the Biden Administration regarding the emergency declaration.
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