Abbott to Send 1,000 National Guard Troops to Texas Border
Slams Congress as "reprobates" for failing border security
By Mary Tuma,
2:00PM, Fri. Jun. 21, 2019
Perhaps remiss they didn’t do enough to instill fear among immigrants during the legislative session that ended last month, the so-called “Big Three” – Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen – announced the deployment of 1,000 National Guard Troops to the border.
“There is an escalating crisis at the border, a crisis Congress is refusing to fix,” said Abbott, also joined by Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris with the Texas National Guard, during a Capitol press conference today (Friday, June 21), which was announced Thursday with no indication of what would be discussed. The fully federally-funded “short-term mission” will provide “assistance at temporary holding facilities” in El Paso, the Rio Grande Valley, and assist at ports of entry. And that’s in addition to the $800 million the Lege appropriated to border security.
The three state officials took aggressive shots at Congress for failing to step up border security efforts. Abbott, calling Congress a "group of reprobates" for not addressing the "crisis" at the border, said: “We’re not going to stand idly by and endanger the lives and safety of the state of Texas because Congress is refusing to do its job.”
The Republicans also put the onus on Congress when it comes to migrants, including children, being treated inhumanely as they cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Recent media reports of abuse, neglect, overcrowding, and mistreatment (including inadequate food, water, and sanitation) at an El Paso border facility have painted a dysfunctional and dangerous picture of local facilities. Abbott called the legislative body “accomplices” to any harm migrants suffer. Congress argues about border security, "but they don't respond to stories of children not being respectfully taken care of. That is something they ought to be able to figure out how to solve,” said Bonnen.
Ed Espinoza, executive director at Progress Texas, pointed out that the “out of nowhere” joint press conference comes amid two weeks of low polling for Trump and Texas Republicans. “Their motives are clear: to save face in the midst of bad press and horrible stories coming from the facilities on our border,” said Espinoza.