May 26, 2024

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Monday that his state is deploying a new “tactical border force” to turn back migrants ahead of the expected surge when the federal government’s Title 42 policy ends Thursday.

“We’re deploying today a new Texas tactical border force made up of elite National Guard who are specifically trained for one thing,” Abbott said in an interview Monday with Fox News. “And that is to identify areas illegal immigrants are trying to cross the border and to fill that gap and to repel them.”

It was unclear how many National Guard troops would be deployed as part of the new force, but the announcement from Abbott comes as the state has prepared to beef up border security efforts for when Title 42 expires.

The holdover Trump administration pandemic-era policy has allowed the federal government to expel migrants who come to the U.S. seeking asylum. It is a policy, however, that immigration advocates say violates federal and international law.

Republican lawmakers have blasted the White House for not having an adequate plan for when the policy expires. 

The move by Abbott to deploy the new tactical border force comes as the Biden administration also plans to send 1,500 troops to the southern border, a move that the Texas governor criticized Sunday.

President Biden is sending 1,500, quote, soldiers to do paperwork, and he’s not going to secure the border,” Abbott said in another interview with Fox News.

Abbott said Monday the new force would have two ways to keep migrants from entering the U.S.

“They can physically turn back those who are trying to cross the border illegally,” he said. “Also, they are building immediate concertina wire border barriers to prevent people from coming across the border.”

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