May 9, 2023

Gov. Abbott Announces New Texas Tactical Border Force Ahead of Title 42 Expiration Transcript

Gov. Abbott Announces New Texas Tactical Border Force Ahead of Title 42 Expiration Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsTexas Governor Greg Abbott TranscriptsGov. Abbott Announces New Texas Tactical Border Force Ahead of Title 42 Expiration Transcript

Gov. Abbott unveiled a new specialized border response force, called the Texas Tactical Border Force, at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Read the transcript here.

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Speaker 1 (00:01):

Listen, I want to thank everybody for being with us here this morning. I’m joined by Mike Banks who is the Texas Border [inaudible 00:00:11], General Suelzer, who is the adjuvant general for the National Guard here in the state of Texas. We will soon be joined by Colonel Steve McCraw, who is the Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

We’re here today because of the impending end of Title 42 policy. With the Biden administration ending Title 42 this Thursday, President Biden is laying down a welcome mat to people across the entire world saying that the United States border is wide open and it will lead to an incredible amount of people coming across the border illegally. President Biden’s open border policies is going to cause a catastrophic disaster in the United States. According to the Biden administration itself, they anticipate about 13,000 people coming across the border illegally every single day. If you extend that out over the course of a year, it means there will be about 4,700,000 people coming across the border a year. That will mean that there will be more people coming across the border illegally than there are residents of the massive city of Chicago.

The bottom line is it did not have to be this way. So never forget this; just three years ago we had the lowest border crossings in decades and those low number of border crossings were a result of the policies put in place by the Trump administration. It was the Title 42 policy, the Remain in Mexico policy, the ending of catch and release, building a border wall, as well as sending a message across the entire world: America is not open to people who are trying to come here illegally. If you want to come to the United States of America, you must do so legally, not illegally. Today, however, we are dealing with the highest number of people coming across the border than ever before and we will set a new all-time record this year.

All of this is a result of policy decisions by Joe Biden, but know this; Texas is doing more than any state in the history of the United States of America to defend our border. That includes deploying up to 10,000 National Guard members in 1,200 Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers. I want to thank the National Guard members who are with us in today. I will tell you more about their deployment momentarily. What those National Guard members have done, working in collaboration with the Texas Department of Public Safety is they have actually turned back, or repelled, or denied access to the United States and Texas by turning back more than 37,000 people who were trying to enter into the country illegally. Together, they have apprehended more than 37,000 people who actually did come across the border illegally. In addition to that, they have arrested about 27,000 dangerous criminals, including cartel gang members who were wanted for crimes like murder, getting them off the streets to make sure they would not harm anybody in Texas or the United States.

They’ve also seized enough fentanyl that would’ve been enough to kill every man, woman, and child in the entire United States of America. Had it not been for the National Guard troops and the Texas Department of Public Safety Officers and troopers. We would have on the streets in the United States that deadly fentanyl, and it’s unknown how many Americans would’ve died because of that. In addition to all of that, we’ve been involved and they have aided the process of busing these migrants from tiny little border towns like Del Rio and Eagle Pass, up to cities like Chicago, New York, and around the country. Thousands have been bused already. Many thousands more will be busted the coming days because of the massive influx of illegal migrants coming across the border and Texas is the only state to build its own border wall, and I’m the only governor to ever have designated the Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations.

With all that said, today we are announcing even more to respond to Joe Biden’s reckless open border policies. Today we are deploying a new National Guard unit, it’s called the Texas Tactical Border Force. Right now as we’re speaking, the Texas National Guard is loading Black Hawk helicopters and C130s deploying specially trained National Guard members for the Texas Tactical Border Force. They will be deployed to hotspots along the border to intercept, to repel, and to turn back migrants who are trying to enter Texas illegally. We’ve seen some examples of the National Guard having done this already, that we have now turned into an official operation.

If you go back to last December before Christmas, there was a long line of migrants trying to get into, and actually getting into El Paso. They were lined up in long lines getting into El Paso, and we deployed a unit somewhat like this. This was a precursor up today’s announcement, and what that unit did is they built massive miles of concertina wire, a border barrier that in 24 hours stopped the influx going into El Paso, Texas and it has remained effective since that time. Another thing that’s just happened within the last day or two until a couple of days ago, there was a border crossing in Brownsville, Texas, where migrants were in the thousands, had to make a short raft trip from Mexico into the United States. We identified that hotspot where a massive number of people were crossing the border illegally. We deployed the National Guard to the location to close down that crossing, and now that crossing is shut down. It’s projects like that that this elite National Guard team will be focused on to identify hotspot crossings like that, shut it down so that we can stop illegal immigration into the state of Texas.

They will be deployed with the equipment and tools that will be needed for them to be effective. It includes aircraft, it includes boats on the water, night vision, as well as riot gear to prepare for anything they may encounter as they are protecting and securing our border. The Texas Tactical Border Force, it bolsters Operation Lone Star to secure the Texas border amidst the chaos caused by Joe Biden eliminating Title 42. In addition to this deployment today, we’re working on laws this session that a hope will pass later on this month that will give me and the state of Texas even more tools to do an even better job of securing our border.

One, is to make it a felony to illegally enter the state of Texas from Mexico. That felony will entitle us to be able to do one or two things, either to arrest these people and jail them for a felony or alternatively, to return them back to Mexico. We will also make it a felony for anybody who’s operating or involved in any way in a stash house, and we will make it a 10 year minimum jail sentence for people who are smuggling in the state of Texas.

Now, with regard to smuggling, one thing that we’ve always been dealing with are either cartel members or the gangs who work in conjunction with the cartel members in the state of Texas smuggling people. We’ve seen a dramatic increase in average, everyday Texans involved in the smuggling people, including an employee of a District Attorney’s Office here in the state of Texas. That’s reprehensible and we want to shut it down. Any Texan, or anybody in the state of Texas caught smuggling illegal immigrants will be spending a minimum of 10 years behind bars in the state of Texas. With that, I will pass it to Mike Banks. The borders are here in the state of Texas. If you use the mic down there.

Mike Banks (09:43):

Since day one, I have been working as the Texas State borders are, I’ve been working with Colonel McCraw and General Suelzer, to deal with the Biden open border policy. I have traveled along the border and I’ve seen firsthand the impact this crisis is having on Texas communities. The state of Texas has done more than any other state to deal with this human, this humanitarian catastrophe. Governor Abbott is doing the job that President Biden and the federal administration’s refusing to do, and Texas will continue to work relentlessly to defend our borders. Today’s deployment of the Texas Tactical Border Force will allow us to be able to shift resources to needed locations effectively and efficiently. I will continue to work with Governor Abbott, and the team as we continue to protect Texas against this unprecedented influx of illegal immigrants. Thank you. Thank you.

Speaker 1 (10:48):

All right, and now General Suelzer, the leader of the Texas National Guard.

General Suelzer (10:52):

Thank you, Governor. Good morning. The Texas National Guard executed a plan, multi-phase response in preparation for the end of Title 42. Phase One began last month and is complete, and that involved the shifting of truths to hotspots along the border. It included adding additional grow teams, and deploying them to the border and increasing miles of concertina wire and other barrier along the border of Texas. An example of Phase One operations was the movement last month of 200 additional troops to El Paso, the deployment of a drone team to that area and the placement of 22 miles of barrier, which is protecting the southern approach into the city of El Paso.

Yesterday, we began Phase Two of this operation, which is the deployment of two quick reaction forces composed of military police units. One quick reaction force is currently in El Paso. The second quick reaction force is deployed today from San Antonio and will RO arrive in the Rio Grande Valley this morning. Phase Two will be complete today. What you are seeing behind you is Phase Three operations, and that’s the calling up of the tactical border unit that the governor spoke of. This unit is composed of over 450 personnel. Today, you’re seeing two elements of that unit deploying to El Paso. Additionally, you will see helicopters taking off from the ramp down south of here, deploying an advanced party of the technical bordering unit to the Rio Grande Valley. Tomorrow, the same operation will occur again with two elements of over 200 personnel moving to the Rio Grande Valley. By tomorrow, Phase Three of this operation will be complete. I had the honor of eating dinner with these troops last night. I can tell you the morale is high and their dedication to the state of Texas is inspirational.

Speaker 1 (12:57):

Thank you, general, and now Director McCraw, the leader of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Director McCraw (13:03):

Well, thank you Governor and thank you General. You’re outstanding men and women do a tremendous job on a daily basis, so God bless them. The Governor’s directed the Department of Public Safety to increase our resources, death border specifically be deploying hundreds of troopers from around the state, enhanced tactical teams, build force operation teams for the border to hold the line. He’s made it very clear; there’s 29 places you can cross in the US legally, and that’s where they’ll cross. The job of Texas military forces and Department of Public Safety assisted by our Texas game wardens, and other state resources to hold that line and ensure that’s the only place that they cross that. Governor, thank you for your leadership.

Speaker 1 (13:51):

Thank you. We’ll take a few questions.

Speaker 4 (13:52):

[inaudible 00:13:59] 4,000 [inaudible 00:14:03] same cost there?

Speaker 1 (14:09):

So with regard to the troops that the United States are putting on the border; understand this, the 1500 troops the president just announced, he’s sending you the border, they’re doing paperwork, they’re not going to actually be on the border trying to secure the border. The goal of the president is not to stop people coming across the border illegally. Our job and what we’re focused on is trying to stop people coming across the border illegally. There’s not going to be any entanglement with regard whatsoever between the Texas troops and what the president’s deploying, because the president is not going to have his troops down there trying to secure the border.

Paul (14:49):

[inaudible 00:14:50] Governor, governor-

Speaker 1 (14:51):

Go ahead, Paul.

Paul (14:57):

Last night, [inaudible 00:14:59] have any information about the driver and whether this was intentional or not?

Speaker 1 (15:02):

So last night I spoke with the police Chief of Brownsville to learn more information, as well as communicated with the county judge in Cameron County, which is where Brownsville is located. Both of them said that because of the circumstances, there is a massive ongoing investigation to identify exactly what happened, and they expect information to come out today where they can tell the public a lot more about what happened, if it was or was not intentional, the circumstances of the driver and continue to work with regard to the victims.

Speaker 7 (15:39):

Last question.

Speaker 8 (15:40):

[inaudible 00:15:40] Yet migrants [inaudible 00:15:51] going up in Texas. Why do you think that [inaudible 00:15:55]?

Speaker 1 (15:56):

So let’s be clear-

Speaker 8 (15:56):

[inaudible 00:15:59].

Speaker 1 (16:00):

So let’s be clear about what’s happened on the border. Texas has the ability to secure the border ourselves. If we were acting in isolation, we would’ve secured the border. While Texas is doing everything possible to try to stop people from crossing the border, at the very same time the President of the United States is putting out the welcome mat, welcoming them in the cartels know it’s the federal government that controls the immigration process. The cartels are working in collaboration with President Biden and the federal government to facilitate that illegal cross border. We are being overrun by our own federal government. Texas is being undermined by our own federal government In our efforts to secure our border, as only Joe Biden and his open border policies has hindered our ability to secure the border.

Speaker 7 (16:55):

Okay, thank you guys.

Speaker 1 (16:57):

Jack, say again?

Jack (16:58):

[inaudible 00:17:01].

Speaker 1 (17:01):

And if you would speak up please?

Jack (17:01):

Okay. [inaudible 00:17:18].

Speaker 1 (17:18):

So first, obviously we’re extraordinarily concerned about the devastation, this happened to the families affected by what happened in Allen, as well as the in entire Allen community. I was in Allen last night to visit with people in Allen, but just as important. To visit with law enforcement investigators, leaders in the Allen and Colin County community to get to the bottom of what’s going on. One thing I know that the people in Allen, but especially the families, they want to know right now why this happened, how it happened, and the investigators were unable to provide specifics at that time. The first step to leading to some type of resolution here, as well as providing information about the response needed from the state of Texas, is to know exactly why and how this happened. I believe in the coming days, the public will be much better informed about why and how this happened, and that will inform us as Texas leaders about next steps to take to try to prevent crimes like this from taking place in the future.

Speaker 7 (18:30):

[inaudible 00:18:31] Thank you.

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