Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the surge of migrants at the southern border is a problem the Biden administration has “self-inflicted” by rolling back former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, including the “Remain in Mexico” directive.
“It is a self-inflicted wound because going back to what the Border Patrol officers told me themselves, they informed the Biden administration about this all along, and the Biden administration has known exactly what was going to happen if they refuse to continue to implement the policies that were previously in place,” Abbott told Fox News on Tuesday after reviewing the situation at the border in Texas.
He blamed the rush at the border that the White House has characterized as a “challenge” rather than a “crisis” on President Biden rolling back the “Remain in Mexico” policy while migrants awaited the processing of their asylum claims and his practice to return migrants to their home countries.
“These two policy changes is what has led to the influx that we’ve seen. One is the elimination of the ‘Remain in Mexico’ protocol. And that is what was suddenly allowed so many people to come back in. And the other is the policy of if people do come across the border, they will be returned to whatever country they came from,” he said.
Abbott said Border Patrol officials told him that the numbers who have been apprehended already this year have easily surpassed all of last year.
Last year, 90,000 people were apprehended. In the first three months of this year, 108,000 people have been apprehended in the Rio Grande area alone.
He said the Mexican drug cartels are making money off the kids who are traveling alone to the US, where they abandon them to the border agents.
“That’s when the drug cartels, they bring in the more dangerous criminals who get paid more to, or they pay more to the cartels to bring them across the border, including these very dangerous drugs and other things coming across the border, including people from very dangerous countries,” he said.
“And so the cartels know exactly what they’re doing — it’s called flooding the zone — preoccupy the Border Patrol, and that’s when they can wreak the havoc that the cartels seek to wreak.”
The Lone Star State governor said unless the Biden administration makes some changes, the situation will only get worse in the coming months.
“Remember, this is a low-number month of the year. The people coming across the border will increase dramatically. We’re probably on scale to have maybe up to a million people cross our border, the Texas border, this year. So this is going to be a turn into a total disaster if the Biden administration does not step up and begin implementing stronger measures,” he said.