Texas Tactical Border Force announced ahead of Title 42 expiration at U.S. & Mexico border
AUSTIN, Texas - Gov. Greg Abbott unveiled a new specialized border response force called the Texas Tactical Border Force at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Monday, May 8.
This comes after eight people were killed due to a driver plowing into a group of migrants Sunday, May 7, in the Texas border city of Brownsville. Another 10 people were injured.
All the victims of the crash were believed to be migrants from Venezuela awaiting the end of Title 42, an emergency immigration restriction.
It was officially a public health measure during the COVID-19 pandemic and is set to expire on May 11 when the public health emergency expires.
U.S. officials are bracing for border crossings to increase when Title 42 ends, with potentially as many as 13,000 people each day.
"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 would lead to an incredible amount of people coming across the border illegally," Gov. Abbott said. "President Biden's open border policies is going to cause a catastrophic disaster in the United States."
The Texas National Guard loaded Black Hawk helicopters and C-130s to send to the border Monday, May 8.
"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," Abbott said. "We've seen some examples of the National Guard having done this already. We have now turned into an official operation."
On May 2, the Department of Defense announced it would deploy 1,500 active duty troops to the Southern border to help border patrol agents.
Gov. Abbott also announced that he is working on laws that make it a felony to enter illegally from Mexico.
"That felony will entitle us to be able to do one or two things, either to arrest these people in jail them for a felony, or alternatively to return them back to Mexico," Abbott said. 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 ten-year minimum jail sentence for people who are smuggling in the state of Texas."
The Biden administration has said it will use a new expedited removal process to deport migrants and stop them from coming back for 5 years.
This is supposed to go hand in hand with another policy announced previously that says a migrant must show they tried to take refuge in another country prior to arriving to the U.S.
Gov. Abbott weighed in on FOX News Sunday saying, "President Trump sent soldiers to the border to secure the border. President Biden is sending 1,500, quote, 'soldiers' to do paperwork. That's not going to secure the border. We need not 1,500 soldiers, we need 15,000 or 150,000 to secure the border because of the open border policies of the Biden administration. This is a day late and tens of thousands of soldiers too few."
Title 42 has let the government expel migrants over 2.7 million times from the Southern border.