‘Local officials and Texas citizens are fatigued and running out of resources’

Governor Abbott submits formal appeal of federal emergency declaration denial

AUSTIN, Texas – On Thursday, Oct. 7, Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to President Joe Biden. The letter formally requested an appeal of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of an emergency disaster declaration for the State of Texas as a result of the crisis at the Texas-Mexico border.

Governor Abbott initially submitted this request on Sept. 20. He noted that the federal government failed to enforce immigration laws, in particular, its failure to halt illegal crossing on federal property. In return, local and state resources have experienced substantial burdens. Over 16,000 migrants crowded the Del Rio International Bridge for several days following the federal government’s lack of action. FEMA denied the request on Sept. 29, leading Governor Abbott to announce his intention to appeal immediately.

“Texas will stand with the federal government in responding to this border crisis, but should not have to stand alone or withstand the financial burden without federal assistance,” reads the letter. “This crisis has taken a serious toll on the Texas border communities, first responders, and the local non-profit sector. Local officials and Texas citizens are fatigued and running out of resources to respond to the ongoing border crisis. The citizens of Texas are resilient and will continue to respond, recover, and mitigate against this crisis, but in order to expedite this process, federal assistance is needed for these vulnerable populations.”

You can read Governor Abbott’s letter here.

Governor Abbott has taken significant action to secure the border in response to the government’s inactiveness.

Those actions include:

  • Signing laws that provide $3 billion in funding for Texas’ border security efforts
  • Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of National Guard soldiers and Department of Public Safety troopers
  • Creating a system to arrest and jail illegal migrants trespassing or committing other state crimes in Texas
  • Signing a budget authorization to build the border wall in Texas
  • Signing a law to make it easier to prosecute smugglers bringing people into Texas
  • Signing 9 laws cracking down on human trafficking in Texas
  • Signing a law enhancing penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl
  • Issuing a disaster declaration for the border crisis
  • Issuing an executive order preventing non-governmental entities from transporting illegal immigrants
  • Taking legal action to enforce the Remain in Mexico and Title 42 policies in Texas