(NewsNation) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was sworn in for a third term Tuesday and used his inaugural address to blast President Joe Biden for problems at the southern border.
For months Abbott has been locking horns with the White House, most notably when the Texas governor started busing migrants to liberal cities including Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago.
The state has thrown no shortage of manpower at the border as well, including the Texas National Guard and Department of Public Safety. Abbott on Tuesday put the blame for the record-high immigration numbers on Biden.
“Make no mistake, the border is a crisis for one reason — the Biden administration is not enforcing laws already on the books. More illegal immigrants crossed our border last year than any year in the history of the United States of America,” he said. “Over the past two years more migrants crossed than populations of Austin, El Paso and Houston, combined. With the Biden administration missing in action, Texas is using every tool to protect our state.”
Biden did visit the border weeks ago and says part of his plan is to get Mexico to take in more migrants to ease tensions on the U.S. It remains to be seen how effective that will be long term.
Abbott has been extremely vocal and criticized Biden’s handling of the southern border, saying the administration abandoned the border. Abbott has invoked clauses of the U.S. and Texas constitutions, calling the crisis at the border an invasion.
In his speech, Abbott also said the state Legislature would focus on a budget surplus, “parental rights” and public safety, the Texas Tribune reported.
Abbott defeated Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke by 11 percentage points in November, becoming the fifth Texas governor to serve three terms. Texas is one of 16 states without term limits.
Since 2015, Abbott has had his work cut out for him — from a deadly winter storm that took the lives of 246 people to several mass shootings including the Uvalde massacre — prompting calls for gun reform.
Yet, Abbott has not budged on the Second Amendment. He’s previously said Texans have a God-given right to self-defense.
When it comes to the upcoming Texas legislative session, Abbott has kept his focus on law and order. He said he’ll ensure law enforcement is fully funded, adding that his Operation Lone Star initiative has made more than 23,000 criminal arrests, seized over 356 million deadly fentanyl doses and bused more than 16,600 migrants to sanctuary cities — a program that has drawn its fair share of criticism.
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd was one of Abbott’s honorary guests at the inauguration.
“He’s using the authorities that he has; he’s using his attorney general, he’s using all the attorneys that are in his office to look at this matter to say what can we do from a state level that the federal government isn’t doing,” Judd said.