SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Nine Governors from around the nation now have a clearer picture on border security and the ongoing crisis along the southern border.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott hosted his colleagues in Austin on Monday, and he gave an update on the Lone Star State’s response at the Governor’s Mansion.
Adjutant General of the Texas Military Department Major General Thomas Suelzer, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw, and Texas Border Czar Mike Banks participated in the border security briefing and provided on-the-ground intelligence about the border crisis.
Governor Abbott was joined by Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Idaho Governor Brad Little, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, and Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin.
During the briefing, Governor Abbott provided an overview of Texas’ comprehensive Operation Lone Star border security mission and explained effective tools and strategies the State of Texas has utilized to deter and repel illegal immigration along the southern border. The Governor highlighted how he thinks President Biden’s refusal to secure the border is a national security threat, noting that 16 individuals on the terrorist watch list were arrested just last month at the border. Governor Abbott also recognized the states of Idaho and Florida for sending assistance to Texas and urged his fellow governors to help provide more personnel to support Operation Lone Star following President Biden’s decision to end Title 42 earlier this month.
Director McCraw discussed ways Mexican drug cartels control the illegal drug market, including smuggling in deadly fentanyl, and highlighted how President Biden’s open border policies, like catch and release, incentivize mass illegal immigration and cartel activity along the border. Director McCraw noted that the State of Texas and DPS prepared for mass migration scenarios, but not the level of global migration invited by the federal government’s inaction at the border.
Major General Suelzer highlighted efforts by Texas National Guard soldiers deployed to Operation Lone Star and showed maps of barriers being constructed by guardsmen along the border. He also discussed improved tactics being used by the Texas National Guard, noting the use of boats and drones in their border security strategy. Additionally, Major General Suelzer outlined how other states’ National Guard troops could be integrated into Operation Lone Star to help fill the gaps created by President Biden’s open border policies.
Border Czar Banks discussed his position as Texas’ first-ever Border Czar and pointed out inaccuracies in drug seizure statistics reported by the federal government. Border Czar Banks drew attention to the dangers of gotaways evading U.S. Border Patrol and migrants crossing into the United States without identification. He also highlighted the effectiveness of Texas’ busing strategy to relieve overwhelmed, overrun border communities.
This border security briefing comes after Governor Abbott sent letters to America’s Governors last week requesting support for Texas’ border security mission following the Biden Administration’s decision to end Title 42 on May 11.