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Governor Greg Abbott today thanked Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers for their selfless service at the southern border and provided an update on Texas’ response to the ongoing border crisis during a press conference in Brownsville. During the Governor’s visit to the Texas-Mexico border, he applauded the hardworking men and women of Operation Lone Star, serving as part of Texas’ unprecedented response to fill in the gaps created by President Joe Biden’s reckless open border policies.

“I’m here in Brownsville today to thank the hardworking men and women who are defending our border for their bravery and courage,” said Governor Abbott. “Their extraordinary efforts have had a direct effect of keeping illegal immigrants out of Texas. These men and women in uniform here today, they’re considered to be heroes by their fellow Americans. They should be proud of what they’ve done. I’m proud of what they’ve done. I thank all the Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and Texas National Guard soldiers for working around the clock to hold the line and defend our border. Texas will never stop doing whatever it takes to respond to President Biden’s border crisis to keep criminals, terrorist, and deadly drugs like fentanyl off our streets.”

During the press conference, Governor Abbott mentioned the letters he sent earlier this week to his fellow Governors requesting support for Texas’ border security mission following the Biden Administration’s decision to end Title 42 on May 11. The Governor also highlighted the new Texas Tactical Border Force’s success in deterring and repelling illegal crossings at border hotspots last week.

Additionally, Governor Abbott noted that he is working with the Texas Legislature to crack down on border-related criminal activity by making it a felony for illegally entering Texas, a felony for operating a stash house, and a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for smuggling illegal immigrants in Texas. These new measures will provide the State of Texas the increased tools and strategies to continue responding to President Biden’s ongoing border crisis.

The Governor was joined at the press conference by DPS Director Steve McCraw, Texas Military Department Brigadier General Matthew Barker, and Texas Border Czar Mike Banks.

Governor Abbott has taken unprecedented action to secure the border in the wake of the federal government’s inaction, including:

  • Securing $4 billion in funding for Texas’ border security efforts
  • Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers
  • Deploying the new Texas Tactical Border Force for targeted responses to intercept and repel illegal crossings at hotspots along the border
  • Hiring Texas’ first-ever Border Czar to oversee border security
  • Taking aggressive action to aid border communities, including busing thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia
  • Designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations to keep Texans safe amid the growing national fentanyl crisis
  • Arresting and jailing criminals trespassing or committing other state crimes along the southern border
  • Issuing an executive order authorizing the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to return illegal immigrants to the border at ports of entry
  • Allocating resources to acquire 1,700 unused steel panels to build the border wall in Texas
  • Signing a law to make it easier to prosecute smugglers bringing people into Texas
  • Signing 15 laws cracking down on human trafficking in Texas
  • Signing a law enhancing penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl
  • Issuing a disaster declaration for the border crisis
  • Activating the Joint Border Security Operations Center (JBSOC) and directing the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Military Department, and Texas Division of Emergency Management to coordinate Texas’ response to secure the border

Read more on additional actions taken by the Governor to secure the border.