Texas Gov. Abbott insists state has right to protect border amid feud with President Biden

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, locked in an escalating feud with the Biden administration over migrant crossings, on Sunday asserted Texas’ right to protect its borders. 

At a press conference with more than a dozen GOP governors held at the border town of Eagle Pass, Texas, Abbott called on Mr. Biden to decisively address migrant crossings at the U.S. southern border, which reached a record monthly high in December. 

Abbott claimed Mr. Biden had “completely abdicated and abandoned his responsibility to enforce the laws of the United States.”

“Joe Biden, it is your turn now — your obligation, your duty, to follow the laws Congress passed and secure the border, just as Texas has,” Abbott said, speaking alongside the governors of Tennessee, Montana, Arkansas and Georgia among others.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott holds a press conference at Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas, on February 4, 2024.

SERGIO FLORES/AFP via Getty Images

Eagle Pass has been a major corridor for illegal border crossings in recent years. Texas state officials last month blocked federal U.S. Border Patrol agents from entering and patrolling Shelby Park, a public area in Eagle Pass. 

Abbott claims that Texas’ installation of more than 100 miles of razor wire barrier led to a sharp reduction in illegal border crossings. 

“They have ensured that this entire park that we are in right now will not be an area that can be used to pass anymore,” he said.

Abbott cited a constitutional clause that he said gives him the right to defend Texas. He also accused the president of aiding and abetting illegal entry into the U.S.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders also called out the president during the news conference. 

“Because of his failures, Governor Abbott is having to step up, governors from across the country are having to step up and do the job of the federal government because they simply won’t,” she said.

President Biden spoke to his counterpart in Mexico, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on Saturday afternoon. The two “discussed challenges at our shared border and committed to continuing their productive partnership,” according to a readout of their phone call.


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