Governor Abbot held a press conference on September 21 to provide a border security update at the international bridge in Del Rio. The Governor was joined by Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and National Border Patrol Council President (NBPC) Brandon Judd.
This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the discussions on the various topics taken up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.
Governor Greg Abbott
- Are joined by a number of city officials; in close contact with them as we begin organizing a more robust response to what has been happening at the border
- Have members of the Texas legislature here, including the Speaker of the House
- $3 billion dollars has been allocated to address border challenges
- The Biden Administration’s policy on open borders has attracted people from across the globe
- Administration is not enforcing the law and has abandoned pretense of securing the border
- Primary goal is to assist local officials
- Texas is taking unprecedented steps; have created a steel barrier using vehicles to prevent people from crossing
- The state is arresting and jailing anyone who comes across the border illegally for trespassing
- Is essential Texas continues its efforts
- Have sealed this area of the border, migrants are trying to penetrate different locations
- Will adjust location based on this
Director Steve McCraw, DPS
- Texas does not need anyone’s permission to secure the border
- Have experienced influxes in recent years, but have reached an all time high 1.1 million in apprehensions
- Numbers do not include recent crossings
- Cartels abuse those gaps in the border; is a Mexican-Texas border crisis
Governor Greg Abbott
- Officers are suffering the consequences of the Biden Administration not supporting them
NBPC President Brandon Judd
- Discusses the Haitian migrants who overtook a bus in Kingwood
- We are in a difficult situation here because of catch and release policies
- This situation is a result of the de facto immigration process
- Federal government did not build a temporary processing site as promised; had taken the proper steps, would not be discussing this today
- Biden Administration promised this would be humane; what is happening under the bridge is not humane
Questions & Answers
Q: Colombian officials say there are 30,000 migrants who could be crossing the border soon; what are Texas’ plans for that?
- Abbott – Texas will respond to any border crossings and will shut them down
Q: What about the hundreds of miles of border that are unpatrolled?
- Abbott – Are moving resources to those who could be coming in at different parts of the border
Q: How many migrants are under the bridge? Any plans to release them?
- Abbott – About 8,600; no intention to depart Del Rio until it is restored to total control
Q: Flights going out, any timing on that?
- Abbott – Those are under the control of the Biden Administration, do not know
Q: Biden Administration believes they can process those migrants by the end of the week; believe that?
- Abbott – Do not, they are incapable of handling this; they need to step up
Q: Secretary of Homeland Security say that they are responding appropriately to need
- Abbott – Federal government has not stepped up to help staunch the flow of illegal immigration
Q: Are you speaking with the Mexican government? Disaster declaration is for the whole state?
- Abbott – State has a disaster declaration; is a need for a Presidential Disaster Declaration
- Abbott – Disaster declaration is capable of being expanded from the counties it currently covers