An unprecedented illegal entrance of migrants into Texas equal to the population of the state’s largest city will be the result of presidential inaction on Title 42’s expiration, Gov. Greg Abbott told “Jesse Watters Primetime” on Thursday.
Abbott, a Republican, warned if the public health regulation originally invoked by former President Donald Trump goes unrenewed, the crisis at the southern border will intensify.
“We’re gearing up as we speak right now,” Abbott said. “We have 10,000 National Guards plus 1,000 Texas Department of Public Safety officers on the border. We have a border operation center that is set up like we use in response to any catastrophe that we’re dealing with.”
Calculating at the expected 18,000 illegal immigrants per day along the four border states, Abbott said the annual figure for Texas would surpass the 2.4 million population of Houston.
“We’re going to be creating what we call steel barricades,” he said. “The steel is our Border Patrol cars, our National Guard vehicles, bumper-to-bumper in Eagle Pass and other areas along the border that you’ve seen people come across.”
Any illegal migrant who makes it through the vehicular barrier will be arrested, Abbott said, later adding that he has been trying to fill the void in Biden’s political absence and work with Mexican state governors to reduce the crisis.
Abbott said the last time he spoke to Biden on any subject was February 2021.
If a Louisiana federal court does not hand down a ruling on the fate of Title 42, the public health order allowing for further expulsion of illegal immigrants would be set to expire May 23 — while Biden is out of the country on a presidential junket to Japan and South Korea.
Judge Robert Summerhays heard arguments Friday about the request by dozens of Republican-led states for a preliminary injunction on the White House’s plan to end Title 42, and a ruling could come within days, as the sunset date approaches.
In a Lafayette, La., courtroom, the Biden administration argued last week the purpose of Title 42 was that of health policy, and that the protections therein are no longer warranted at this stage of the coronavirus pandemic.