Texas Gov. Abbott lauded his state's efforts to 'secure the border.' Hours later, he blamed Biden after dozens of migrants were found dead in a semi-truck.

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Greg Abbott at vigil
Gov. Greg AbbottALLISON DINNER/AFP via Getty Images
  • At least 50 migrants were found dead in the back of a truck near San Antonio, Texas, on Monday.

  • Texas Gov. Abbott blamed Biden for the tragedy, slamming his "deadly open border policies."

  • An hour before the discovery, Abbott praised his state's work to secure the US-Mexico border.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praised his state's ability to "secure the border" between the US and Mexico on Monday nearly an hour before dozens of suspected undocumented migrants were found dead inside a semi-truck near San Antonio.

After the tragic discovery of the at least 50 dead bodies — believed to be people who tried to enter the US illegally — Abbott blamed Biden for what he referred to as "deadly open border policies."

"These deaths are on Biden," Abbott tweeted late Monday night.

At 5 p.m. local time — 50 minutes before a 911 call alerted police to the abandoned semi-truck — Abbott tweeted his praise for "Operation Lone Star," a multi-agency effort to "secure the border, stop the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and people into Texas, and prevent, detect, and interdict transnational criminal behavior between ports of entry."

Video: A day with Border Patrol in 2018

In his tweet, Abbott said over 265,500 migrants have been captured, over 16,400 people have been arrested, and over 13,800 felonies have been reported.

He also touted the fact that over 22,000 migrants have been prevented from crossing the US-Mexico border.

"Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps left by the Biden Administration's refusal to secure the border," Abbott's office said in a June statement. "Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Biden's open border policies."

Body bags lie at the scene where a tractor trailer with multiple dead bodies was discovered, Monday, June 27, 2022, in San Antonio.
Body bags lie at the scene where a tractor trailer with multiple dead bodies was discovered, Monday, June 27, 2022, in San Antonio.AP Photo/Eric Gay

But less than an hour later, authorities were called to a rural road outside San Antonio, where the bodies were found. More than a dozen others were also hospitalized after Monday's discovery, and police said three people are in custody.

Abbott said the deaths show "the deadly consequences of [Biden's] refusal to enforce the law."

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre hit back at Abbott's claim, telling reporters on Tuesday that "the border is closed, which is in part why you see people trying to make this dangerous journey using smuggling networks," the Dallas Morning News reported.

According to the New York Times, Abbott has made control of the migration crisis a focal point of his reelection campaign.

Both Abbott's office and the White House did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

According to US Customs and Border Protection data, there has been a higher number of encounters at the southern border for each month of 2022 so far, compared to the same month in the previous three years.

Read the original article on Business Insider