News of the unfortunate death comes as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the deployment of tactical vehicles along the border by the Texas Military Department on Tuesday.
“The Texas National Guard have deployed tactical vehicles along the Texas-Mexico border. These vehicles provide enhanced protection for our troops in the face of increasing cartel activity. We are the first and last line of defense at our border,” Abbott tweeted.
The move shouldn’t be a surprise; the governor vowed, as early as January 2022, to use every tool and resource available to secure the border with the end of Title 42 expulsions slated for mid-December.
The tweeted statement was the Texas governor’s latest effort to ramp up border security, which included tweeting out photos of the armored tactical vehicles. The tactical vehicles are now located at 10 sites along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The announcement also comes after Abbott invoked a constitutional invasion clause in November, deploying the Texas National Guard in the process.
“They are militarizing and terrorizing our communities,” one Rio Grande Valley local said.
Critics of Abbott’s Operation Lone Star call his border tactics a massive overreach. Republicans say it’s necessary.
“Together we bear witness to the worst border crisis in U.S. history. There have been more than 4 million illegal border crossings since Joe Biden took office,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy said is a news release.
The National Guard is also ramping up aircraft flights along the border.
The beefed-up security comes as cities including El Paso are reenacting emergency ordinances to allocate personnel and resources to respond when Title 42 ends.
For example, tensions grew high at one migrant camp just across the border from El Paso in early December. The facility housed about 1,500 Venezuelan migrants waiting to cross over before being taken down by Mexican authorities.
City shelters are already over capacity and Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar worries about the $7 million the federal government owes El Paso for migrant related costs just from the last quarter.
“My real concern over the long term is not only will we see more numbers because of limited legal pathways, but that we will see what we saw under Trump, which was the federal government not reimbursing local communities,” she told NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Wednesday.
Title 42 is slated to end Dec. 21. In response, El Paso and other border cities are preparing for this month to be record breaking in regards to community releases.
Just last week, more than 500 were released into El Paso’s street. Once Title 42 ends, they’re preparing for thousands to pass through daily.