On June 21, the day before President Trump called off a national sweep to find and detain undocumented non-citizens, Gov. Greg Abbott announced the deployment of 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Rio Grande.
Accompanied by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Adjutant General Tracy Norris in a state Capitol news conference, Abbott said the deployment would assist the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol with the “escalating humanitarian crisis” at the Texas-Mexico border.
“In the past three weeks alone,” Abbott said, “more than 45,000 individuals from 52 different countries have been apprehended illegally crossing the border into Texas. The crisis at our southern border is unlike anything we’ve witnessed before and has put an enormous strain on the existing resources we have in place.”
The federal government will pay for 100 percent of the costs associated with the short-term mission, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
In the coming weeks, plans call for holding facilities to be established in the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso for single adults entering the country illegally. Texas National Guard troops will provide supplemental staffing support at the temporary holding facilities and supplemental enforcement support at ports of entry, Abbott said.
“Texas communities along the border and throughout the state are struggling to deal with this huge increase. Our health care system and schools are stretched to the breaking point, and cost increases on everything from temporary shelter and policing to street cleaning have been astronomical. Governor Abbott, Speaker Bonnen and I are agreed that we must work with our federal partners and act now,” Patrick said.
“As a longtime advocate for border security, I support today’s announcement as yet another example of Texas stepping up and filling in the gaps where the federal government has fallen short,” Bonnen said.
RRC elects new chairman
The three-member Texas Railroad Commission on June 17 elected Commissioner Wayne Christian as the energy-regulating agency’s chair.
Christian succeeds fellow commissioner Christi Craddick in the role. Following the vote, Christian released a statement, saying: “Largely because of Texas, America has become the largest producer of oil and gas in the world, giving us not only energy security, but national security as well.
“At the same time we have seen tremendous growth in the industry, we have seen great gains environmentally. From 1970 to 2017, the six major pollutants monitored by the EPA plunged by 73 percent, while the U.S. economy grew 262 percent.