TEXAS - Gov. Greg Abbott doubled down on defying the Biden administration on Thursday. He invited nearly two dozen state lawmakers to an Eagle Pass city park along the border that the state took over last year.
The governor is deploying more resources and more personnel along the river where migrant crossings have been taking place.
Among those who attended the announcement was Texas House Homeland Security Committee member Ellen Troxclair. The Lakeway Republican spoke to FOX 7 Austin's Rudy Koski about the governor's plan and the escalating standoff between state and federal officials.
ELLEN TROXCLAIR: In the absence of the federal government doing its job to secure our border. Texas has been sending the strong message for years now that we are going to step up and protect our citizens. Luckily, we have now gotten help from 14 other states who are sending state troopers down so that we have the personnel and the resources that we need to cover our massive 1200 miles of border. And Operation Lone Star is working.
RUDY KOSKI: Do you think that this could backfire, though? Are you worried that that could backfire?
ELLEN TROXCLAIR: I think we have no choice. I mean, we have done everything we could, to let them know, to get Biden to recognize that there is an absolute crisis that is only empowering cartels and hurting Americans, killing kids with fentanyl.
RUDY KOSKI: What do you say to people who say this escalation is not needed It's an overstep? It's a knee-jerk reaction?
ELLEN TROXCLAIR: Well, we have the constitutional right as a state to secure our state. And so we have invoked the articles of the Constitution that allow us to declare an invasion. And so the federal government knows that. They know this is, you know, we are 50 United States. We are not all subjects of Washington, D.C. This is the basis of the foundation of our country. And it is sure being tested right now.
RUDY KOSKI: Are we going to see are these kind of be like frontier outposts along the river?
ELLEN TROXCLAIR: Eagle Pass certainly has been one of the biggest points of crossing. But again, we're getting those reinforcements from other states now who are taking this issue seriously. And the numbers are going down. It is working. So I just think that we have to keep our foot on the gas, keep going, and keep putting up those rock roadblocks as much as possible for the cartels.
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RUDY KOSKI: What happens when all those other National Guard units, all those other troopers from the other states, leave? We've got to scale back. Right? Or do we bring in our own people?
ELLEN TROXCLAIR: Well, I think that there are plenty of Texans across the state who would be more than happy to answer the call as the state troopers are hiring.
RUDY KOSKI: In the last session, there was legislation to create a Texas Border Patrol unit. Do you see that happening coming back in the next session? Will you support that in the next session?
ELLEN TROXCLAIR: I was a joint author on the bill to create Texas's own border patrol unit. We did pass other legislation that allows us to expand our force to give DPS the things that they need. And to invest in our existing infrastructure. And so, while that will be, I'm sure, on the table, we have seen the clear evidence and data and requests from DPS that we just reinforce the things that they are already doing. You know, we've got, we've invested in drone technology. We've cleared out islands that are in the middle of the Rio Grande that they were using to keep migrants hidden. So they have, what we are giving them is saying you can have whatever tools and resources we need to put a stop to this. And we're going to have your back 100 percent.