A ruling from a federal judge on Thursday led Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to abandon his plan to close six entry points on the southern border amid a surge of migrants, the El Paso Times reported.
The U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia blocked President Joe Biden from turning away migrant families with children under 18, citing a health order related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the El Paso Times reported. The order will take effect in 14 days.
Abbott announced Thursday he had directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to close six entry points along the southern border in a statement obtained by Fox News.
“The sheer negligence of the Biden Administration to do their job and secure the border is appalling,” Abbott said in the statement. “I have directed the Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to surge personnel and vehicles to shut down six points of entry along the southern border to stop these caravans from overrunning our state.”
“The border crisis is so dire that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is requesting our help as their agents are overwhelmed by the chaos,” he added. “Unlike President Biden, the State of Texas remains committed to securing our border and protecting Americans.”
Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Victor Escalon said earlier on Thursday that all Del Rio, Texas entry points would be shut down due to the massive amounts of migrants there, CNN reported.
BREAKING: In response to the situation at the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announces he is shutting down six points of entry along the border to “stop these migrant caravans from overrunning our state.”
Full statement from his office below @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/cvSxn2lBnv
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 16, 2021
“Six, seven days ago, Del Rio saw 400 migrants sitting, underneath the bridge, the (point of entry) in downtown Del Rio … there’s about 6,000 sitting there right now and more are coming,” Escalon said, CNN reported.
Abbott released a statement reversing his decision hours later, blaming the Biden administration for having “flip-flopped to a different strategy that abandons border security and instead makes it easier for people to cross illegally and for cartels to exploit the border.”
“I have directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to maintain their presence at and around ports of entry to deter crossings,” he added.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson told the Texas Tribune on Thursday it has no plans to shut down any of the ports.
“The Border Patrol is increasing its manpower in the Del Rio Sector and coordinating efforts within [the Department of Homeland Security] and other relevant federal, state and local partners to immediately address the current level of migrant encounters and to facilitate a safe, humane and orderly process,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement to the Tribune.
“To prevent injuries from heat-related illness, the shaded area underneath Del Rio International Bridge is serving as a temporary staging site while migrants wait to be taken into USBP custody,” he added.
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