BROWNSVILLE, Texas (NewsNation) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott deployed a new Tactical Border Force on Monday to assist local authorities with the large influx of migrants expected as Title 42 expires later this week.
The new Texas Tactical Border Force was deployed to Texas-Mexico border cities to help with the growing migrant surge that is already overwhelming resources, according to local officials.
With the pandemic-era border policy set to expire on Thursday, Abbott decided to send hundreds of Texas National Guard soldiers to join the thousands already deployed as part of Operation Lone Star working to secure the border, according to a news release.
“President Biden is laying down the welcome mat to people across the entire world, but Texas is deploying our new Texas Tactical Border Force,” the governor said. “The Texas Tactical Border Force will bolster our Operation Lone Star efforts to secure the Texas border amid the chaos caused by President Biden’s elimination of Title 42.”
Two units of hundreds of trained service members were sent to hot spots in El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley to help intercept large groups of migrants, the press release said. On Tuesday, two additional units were deployed to the Rio Grande Valley.
The deployment of troops was Phase 3 of Abbott’s plan to secure the border, which went into effect in March 2021. Since the border security plan began, Texas has deployed thousands of National Guard soldiers and DPS agents to the border.
Those service members have apprehended more than 373,000 illegal migrants, arrested over 28,000 criminals and seized more than 400 million lethal doses of fentanyl, according to the release.
Abbott’s initiative was launched in response to a perceived lack of action by the Biden administration to address the situation at the southern border.
Abbott has also criticized Biden for his “last-minute” plan to send 1,500 U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps troops to the southern border ahead of Title 42‘s end.
“We do not need 1,500 soldiers,” Abbott said. “We need 15,000 or 150,000 to secure the border because of the open border policies of the Biden administration.”
When pressed on accepting similar types of reinforcements from the Trump administration, Abbott said he supported the move from the Republican president because “President Trump sent soldiers to the border to secure the border.”
Abbott said Biden’s move was “a day late and tens of thousands of soldiers too few,” especially when the Biden administration announced they estimate up to 13,000 migrants cross into America illegally every single day. That number could total more than 4.7 million new illegal immigrants within the next year, the press release maintained.
The Hill contributed to this report.