Republican Governor Greg Abbott has ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to close six ports of entry from Mexico into the United States that are located in souther Texas. Abbott also ordered the Texas National Guard to assist in shutting down the six ports of entry. About said in a statement, “The sheer negligence of the Biden Administration to do their job and secure the border is appalling. I have directed the Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to surge personnel and vehicles to shut down six points of entry along the southern border to stop these caravans from overrunning our state.”
The closure resulted in thousands becoming stranded on the international bridges that cross into the United States over the Rio Grade from Mexico, with many more underneath. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has had to call Texas for help to deal with the crowds that were backed up. The border in those six areas were effectively closed because Texas didn’t allow those who crossed legally through Border Patrol to proceed further into Texas.
When Texas DPS was asked about the closure also affecting legal border crossings and the flow of trade that is allowed to cross Lt. Chris Olivarez said Yes, possibly. “We’re going to make if difficult for those migrants come across.” When asked if he realized he was also making it difficult for Americans who cross back and forth who live in border communities around Del Rio and for Mexicans with travel cards, green cards, and those with valid visas and trade and commerce, Olivarez said, “That is the plan as of now.”
The Biden Administration is said to be furious and will be taking legal action and federal enforcement action to reopen the border. Abbott is up for re-election and is supported by an exceptionally conservative base.
Attorney Mike Baker, a lawyer who specializes in customs and immigration law from Florida said that it appears Gov. Greg Abbott knows his actions are not legal and will ultimately fail and that this is more of a stunt to appease his core supporters as Abbott is up for reelection. “Now he can campaign and say, see, I take action, I protect Texas from illegal migrants,” said Baker.
Cynthia Walden is a government watchdog accountant and said it will cost Texas taxpayers about $150,000 per day to maintain this action at current staffing levels.