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HomeGeneralGreg Abbott Takes Credit for Fall in Migrant Entries Into Texas

Greg Abbott Takes Credit for Fall in Migrant Entries Into Texas

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Greg Abbott
Source: NBC News/YouTube

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has always been vocal about decreasing migrant entries into the United States. Since the end of December, illegal border crossings into the United States have dropped by 50 percent. At that time, there was a massive increase in migrants, affecting President Biden’s immigration ratings.

In January and to date, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have noticed a quicker decline in entries in Texas. Migrants are now choosing to go further west to Arizona or California. Although southern Arizona remains the top spot for illegal entries, the San Diego area has become busier than Del Rio, Texas.

Abbott has given credit for the decline of his administration’s policies and initiatives. According to him, the drop in migrant entries directly results from his aggressive approach to border security. He deployed Operation Lone Star, a state-led campaign, and mobilized thousands of police officers and National Guard troops to prevent migrants from entering. 

He also fortified the banks of the Rio Grande with razor wire. According to him, border agents recorded 71,048 arrests in December, and illegal entries were reduced by 76 percent in January. “Our stiff resistance is working,” Abbott wrote on social media last week. “Texas will continue to hold the line.” 

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ALSO READ: Greg Abbott in Talks With Oklahoma To Create Texas Border Wall Amid Migrant Surge

On the contrary, some believe that changes in the migration pattern may have political and humanitarian implications. Arizona and California have Democratic governors, and if more migrants move there, it could be tough on the cities. Last week, a Pew Research Center survey revealed that 80% of American adults believe the government is poorly managing the border surge.

Smugglers in Mexico know that large groups crossing into isolated parts of southern Arizona can easily overwhelm CBP. Thereby, this increases the chances that authorities will release migrants into the U.S. rather than deport them. Brandon Judd, the Border Patrol Agents leader, said the recent border shift is directly linked to Abbott’s actions. 

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“We’re seeing that huge shift to Tucson, to San Diego, and that’s simply because the cartels are going to do what they need to do to generate a profit,” Judd told News Nation. “When Gov. Abbott continues to put more pressure on them, it becomes a lot more difficult, so they start to expand their operations to other areas.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security have also countered Abbott’s claims. The officials argued that factors beyond Abbott’s initiatives influenced the decrease in migrant entries. They pointed out that the decline was driven by seasonal changes and increased enforcement efforts by the Mexican government.

ALSO READ: Biden and House Republicans Disagree Over Border Policy Changes

One DHS official mentioned that Texas’ security deployment didn’t change from December to January. He was casting doubt on Abbott’s assertions: “It’s interesting to hear the state of Texas taking credit for the decrease when so much of its security presence in Eagle Pass now also existed in December,” the anonymous official said.  

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“I struggle to understand how it was the federal government’s fault in December, but now it’s thanks to Texas that things are slower,” the official said. 

Texas is preparing to implement SB4, a new law allowing police to arrest those suspected of being in the country illegally. However, civil rights groups and the Department of Justice are challenging SB4. They argue that it may infringe on federal laws, including the right to seek asylum.

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