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For the first time ever, a governor has directed state military troops and police forces to arrest illegal aliens and transport them back to a port of entry at the southern border.
In an executive order, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday authorized Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety officers to make the arrests, the Washington Examiner reported.
Abbott explained he decided to issue the order after 5,000 noncitizens were apprehended illegally crossing the border over the July 4 holiday weekend.
“While President Biden refuses to do his job and enforce the immigration laws enacted by Congress, the State of Texas is once again stepping up and taking unprecedented action to protect Americans and secure our southern border,” Abbott said in a statement.
The Examiner said immigrants-rights activists likely will criticize the move, arguing only federal law enforcement officials such as the U.S. Border Patrol have the legal authority to handle immigration offenses.
The order came two days after leaders of six Texas counties and one city declared an invasion under the U.S. Constitution. They have been pushing Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton to do the same.
Texas, the Examiner noted, is already under investigation by the Biden Department of Justice. The DOJ alleges the state’s border security initiative, Operation Lone Star, violates civil rights laws by subjecting arrestees to “differential and unlawful conditions of confinement based on their perceived or actual race or national origin.”
On Thursday, Abbott announced Texas will spend an additional $30 million on Operation Lone Star to counter criminal activity related to border crossings, the Texas Tribune reported. That includes human smuggling, drug trafficking and gang activity.
The governor said in a statement that while “the Biden Administration has abandoned border communities, the State of Texas will support them and help them respond to the disaster that President Biden has caused on the border.”
On June, 53 illegal aliens were found dead in a truck in San Antonio in the deadliest human smuggling case in modern U.S. history
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