Abbott declares a disaster in response to border crisis in Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday issued a disaster declaration in response to the crisis on the...
Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday issued a disaster declaration in response to the crisis on the Texas-Mexico border. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)(Rebecca Blackwell | AP)
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 4:53 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday issued a disaster declaration along the Texas-Mexico border to provide more resources and strategies to deal with the “ongoing influx of unlawful immigrants,” his office said in a press release.

“Texas continues to step up to confront the border crisis in the federal government’s absence, but more must be done,” Abbott said.

“By declaring a state of disaster in these counties, Texas will have more resources and strategies at our disposal to protect landowners and enforce all federal and state laws to combat criminal activities stemming from the border crisis. Working together with local law enforcement, the state will continue to take robust and meaningful action to keep our communities safe.”

Abbott’s order authorizes the use of state and local resources to protect landowners in border counties from trespassers and the damage they may cause to private property and directs the Texas Department of Public Safety to enforce all federal and state criminal laws including criminal trespassing, smuggling and human trafficking, his office said.

Abbott directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to act to discontinue state licensure of any childcare facility under contract with the federal government “that shelters or detains unlawful immigrants,” the governor’s office said.

He also directed the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to work with counties “to provide appropriate guidance and request any necessary waivers in order to give counties the flexibility needed to establish adequate alternative detention facilities or otherwise add or expand capacity,” and to streamline licensing and transfer procedures and to address staffing issues “that may arise in expanding capacity,” the press release said.

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