Abbott to Send 1,000 National Guard Troops to Texas Border

Slams Congress as "reprobates" for failing border security

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.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More border security
Border Security Expo
Border Security Expo
High tech gizmos, low tech protesters

Andrea Grimes, May 30, 2008

More Greg Abbott
Abbott to Crack Down on Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking
Abbott to Crack Down on Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking
Texas Rangers to have purview over investigations

Mary Tuma, Feb. 6, 2018

Abbott to Trump: Pay Us Money We Lost for Excluding Planned Parenthood
Abbott to Trump: Pay Us Money We Lost for Excluding Planned Parenthood
Texas guv sends a "pretty please" to the president

Mary Tuma, Jan. 25, 2018

More by Mary Tuma
Reps Outraged at
Reps Outraged at "Inhumane" and "Dystopian" Conditions at Border
Willful neglect of human rights fuel funding effort

July 12, 2019

Paxton Thinks Abortion Providers Get a
Paxton Thinks Abortion Providers Get a "Pass" in Court
A.G. urges SCOTUS to make it harder for providers to fight anti-choice laws

July 5, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

border security, Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, Dennis Bonnen, Ed Espinoza

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle