Mission — With a series of military vehicles in the background, Governor Greg Abbott hosted nine of his fellow Republican state chief executives under the blazing sun of South Texas on Wednesday to revisit what they say There is an ongoing immigration crisis to draw.
Abbott used the incident, which attracted nearly 50 media outlets from across the country, to a flurry of criticism for already backing President Joe Biden and his administration’s many immigration policies of the Donald Trump years. .
“President Joe Biden has created a humanitarian crisis and chaos on our border,” Abbott said as the other nine governors observed.
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The two-term governor of Texas, as well as several others, added to the growing number of cross-border deaths that have captured headlines and TV coverage for months, leading to an increase in fentanyl overdose deaths across the country. .
He noted that most opioid narcotics produced illegally are smuggled across the southern border and find their way into cities and towns in nearly every state.
Abbott also used the phenomenon, as he spoke at several recent news conferences on the border and in Texas cities, to further ignite his credentials as an immigration fanatic in the 2022 election cycle where he would challenge GOP challengers. encounters.
Texas Democrats, meanwhile, seem to be pinning their hopes on former US Representative Beto O’Rourke to challenge Abbott. The El Paso native has not announced his intentions. Ted Cruz, R-Texas in 2018 and in his short-lived bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, he consistently pushed for a more humane approach to immigration at the southern border.
Wednesday’s event had a decidedly military atmosphere behind speakers’ lectures, with 11 Humvees, two five-ton Army trucks and the Army’s UH 60 Black Hawk helicopters. When Abbott, wearing a khaki shirt with epaulets, exited his vehicle at the sight of a wide bank of news cameras, National Guard soldiers stationed in South Texas drew attention and saluted the “current weapons” in command. greeted him.
The news conference was held inside the levee in an expansive pastoral setting that protects the surrounding farming fields from flooding when the Rio Grande rises above its winding channel with a view of the Anzalduas International Bridge.
The 15-acre Anzalduas Park was a haven for 650 asylum-seeking migrants released from federal custody.
Other governors in attendance were Doug Ducey of Arizona, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Brad Little of Idaho, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Greg Gianfort of Montana, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Mike Devin of Ohio, Kevin Stitt and Mark Gordon of Oklahoma. Wyoming.
The Democratic National Committee called the South Texas incident a politically motivated distraction, and said they “stupidly stood by because Donald Trump spent four years destroying our immigration system.”
“If Republican governors want to make a statement about the limit, perhaps they can call on their Republican members of Congress to join President Biden and Democrats in flying thousands of miles for a stunt designed to further Instead of working to rebuild and reform our immigration system, they have their own political aspirations,” said DNC spokeswoman Adona Beale.
The governors, however, said they were ready to offer a solution. However, many of them involve reinstating Trump policies, including restarting border wall construction.
Abbott also touted his own efforts, including this year’s appropriation of more than $2 billion to the Legislature to boost a state law enforcement presence in South Texas and to build sections of fencing near the Rio Grande.
The Duchy of Arizona was the only governor other than Abbott to preside over a border state. He echoed the assessment of his Texas counterpart.
“The border situation is out of control in the state of Arizona,” Ducey said.
He cited a rise in migrant fears in Arizona this year.
“And it’s not just people who are crossing the border. It’s deadly drugs,” Ducey said.
Ducci left no stone unturned in criticizing the Biden administration.
“People are responsible for making America a more dangerous place: President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and (Homeland Security) Secretary Alejandro Meyerkas,” Ducey said. “It’s no secret anymore. They’ve created this crisis.”
At a news briefing in late September, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration was looking at the immigration issue from a wider angle.
“It’s also about investing in border security, making sure it makes sense and we’re investing in it in a way that makes sense,” she said. “And creating an asylum processing system that’s really functional, which I think we can all agree is not.”
Meanwhile, Meyerkas told USA Today’s editorial board on Tuesday that the administration has learned a lot from the recent influx of Haitian migrants to Del Rio last month and will be prepared Amid reports that another group may be on the way.
“It was definitely a challenge we hadn’t faced before,” Meyerkas said. “And what we’ve done now, have we developed plans that should something like this happen again, we’re prepared for.”
Before the governors arrived at the park, Abbott said he was given a private briefing by the Texas Department of Public Security about what soldiers and other law enforcement officers are facing at the border.
DPS director Steve McCraw later told reporters that his officers were taking a proactive approach to border security and were not dependent on the federal government.
“We don’t need their permission to defend Texas,” he said.