AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made the unprecedented move of shutting down six ports of entry with Mexico on Thursday following a surge of migrants crossing illegally into the United States. However, he reversed course an hour later, saying the Biden administration changed course and refused to shut the crossings.
Earlier in the day, the Republican governor said he directed the Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to shut down six points of entry on the southern border to "stop these caravans from overrunning our state."
“The sheer negligence of the Biden Administration to do their job and secure the border is appalling," he had said in a statement provided to the Washington Examiner Thursday afternoon. Abbott's office did not specify which six ports of entry would be shuttered or how long the closure would last. However, Abbott said the federal agency, Customs and Border Protection, asked the state to step in and assist.
But shortly after announcing the closure, which only the federal government has the ability to do because ports are federally operated, Abbott reversed course, saying ports would be open.
"Six hours after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection requested help from Texas to close ports of entry and secure the border, the Biden Administration has now flip-flopped to a different strategy that abandons border security and instead makes it easier for people to cross illegally and for cartels to exploit the border," Abbott wrote in a statement.
"The Biden Administration is in complete disarray and is handling the border crisis as badly as the evacuations from Afghanistan," Abbott said.
Instead, Texas National Guard and Department of Public Safety officers will be present in the area to "deter crossings." However, military and police cannot arrest migrants on immigration crimes, as it is a federal crime and only federal law enforcement can make an arrest.
Images that show thousands of people who illegally crossed the border and are in Border Patrol custody under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, were published this week on Twitter by Fox News reporter Bill Melugin.
Border Patrol does not have facility space to detain and process the thousands being encountered, and an unknown number of people are evading detection when crossing and getting away.
CBP, which oversees the Border Patrol, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Original Author: Anna Giaritelli