Texas Gov. Greg Abbott authorizes National Guard to arrest border crossers

The governor's office made the announcement following a 21-year high in illegal border crossings last month.

Published: August 25, 2021 5:34pm

Updated: August 25, 2021 6:27pm

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced on Tuesday that he has authorized the state's National Guard to arrest anyone who crosses the border illegally.

"The Guard is now authorized to enforce Texas law, including arresting people who have crossed the border illegally and violated Texas law," Abbott's office said in a statement. "They are working with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and local law enforcement to increase border security."

The state's National Guard is also aiding in the early stages of construction for border barriers and a border wall.

"The Texas National Guard is playing an unprecedented role to secure the border because of the unprecedented refusal of the federal government to fulfill its obligations under federal law," Abbott said.

The Texas governor urged sheriffs and county judges on a call Saturday to inform the House Appropriations Committee of the need for more border security funding.

Since the March launch of Operation Lone Star, "over 4,600 arrests have been made by the Texas Department of Public Safety for charges including criminal mischief and criminal trespass," the governor's office said.

Over 212,000 illegal immigrants attempted to cross into Texas in July, a 21-year high.

The increase in illegal border crossings comes as the Biden administration stopped construction on the border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, ended the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" policy, and made it more difficult for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to make arrests.

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