Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told “Sunday Morning Futures” in an exclusive interview that the Biden administration “completely abandoned” ranchers, residents in his state and “all the people who live on the border,” arguing that President Joe Biden is “putting them in danger.”
He also pointed out that “these are counties and these are people who traditionally have voted Democrat, that the Biden administration is ignoring.”
The Texas governor also blamed Biden’s “catastrophic open border policies” for the migrant crisis.
Abbott told host Maria Bartiromo, who traveled to the southern border last week, that one year ago, during the Trump administration, policies put in place led “to the greatest reduction” in border crossings.
“But now, we’re seeing the highest number of cross border crossings and it’s all because of the catastrophic open border policies by the Biden administration,” he continued.
The crisis at the southern border has seen hundreds of thousands of migrants encountered in recent months and has overwhelmed Border Patrol agents while causing a massive political headache for the Biden administration.
In a tour of the border near Mission, Texas, last week Fox News saw groups of migrants coming across, predominantly families, who were pointed in the direction of nearby processing areas.
Border Patrol agents told Fox News that migrant family units were unlikely to be removed under Title 42 public health protections (only 19% of family units were removed under Title 42 in August) and instead would likely be processed and released into the interior – potentially at a nearby bus station – either that night or in the morning.
The Biden administration ended the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) which kept migrants in Mexico as they awaited their immigration proceedings. Separately, they also ended asylum cooperative agreements (ACAs) which meant migrants would claim asylum in Northern Triangle countries instead.
With those changes, the administration has also reinstated the practice known as “catch and release,” something the Trump administration had used a patchwork of policies to end. Now, while single adults are mostly still being removed from the U.S., migrant families are mostly allowed to enter the U.S. — handed only a Notice to Appear at court or a Notice to Report to a nearby Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility.
Republicans have blamed the dramatic changes in policy, including the ending of border wall construction, for the surge in migration. More than 200,000 migrants were encountered in July and August, and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has reportedly warned of a worst-case scenario of 400,000 migrants hitting the border if Title 42 public health expulsions are ended.
The Biden administration, however, has blamed a mixture of Trump administration policies and “root causes” in Central America for the surge.
Abbott warned that cartels have been “getting even more aggressive.”
He said that the cartels on the Mexican side of the border “are beginning to open fire on the National Guard that Texas has down on the border to secure the border.”
“This is escalating into a firing war on each side of the border where Texas and our National Guard are having to defend themselves and defend the state of Texas,” Abbott continued.
He went on to explain that “Texas is stepping up to do more than any state has ever done to help to secure this region.”
Abbott added that “Texas has devoted more than $3 billion to secure the border.”
He explained that includes having the National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety on the border and that “Texas itself is building a border wall to make sure that we will be able to better secure our border.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.