Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is extending the deployment of the National Guard troops at the border with Mexico due to a spike in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing into the state.
Abbott, a Republican, criticized federal officials Tuesday in the wake of U.S. Border Patrol figures that show more than 10,000 unaccompanied children crossing into the U.S. in October and November. That is double the number of crossings in the same two months last year.
The uptick has already prompted Border Patrol to open two shelters in Texas and one in California.
Former Gov. Rick Perry first deployed National Guard troops to the border in 2014. He sent more than 1,000, though only a few hundred have remained in recent months.
“In September, I warned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson ‘about the significant increase in unaccompanied minors who are once again pouring across our border,’” said Governor Abbott. “I asked for his ‘immediate and bold action to prevent this from escalating into an uncontrollable crisis.’ Despite the warning – followed by a phone discussion about the matter – my request for more border patrol agents and strategic resources to secure the border were ignored. Now, the concern I warned about has turned into reality: A substantial spike in illegal crossings has occurred at a particularly unsuspecting time, once again challenging Texas’ security and resources. The Federal Government compounded its negligence by failing to give advance notice so that the state and local governments could prepare for the Obama administration’s unilateral decision to relocate nearly a thousand foreign nationals in Texas.”