Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday that President Joe Biden has completely abandoned Texans who live on the U.S.-Mexico border, people who overwhelmingly supported Biden in 2020.
Abbott said that Biden’s reversal of the previous administration’s policies has led to “catastrophic” results on the border, including Mexican cartels becoming even more aggressive.
“And the cartels on the Mexican side of the border, they’re beginning to open fire on the National Guard that Texas has down on the border to secure the border,” Abbott said. “This is escalating into a firing war on each side of the border where Texas and our National Guard are having to defend themselves and defend the state of Texas.”
Abbott said that the hottest point of activity right now is in Starr County “where the cartels on the Mexican side of the border are shooting at the National Guard on the Texas side of the border.”
“And so what Texas is having to do, we’re having to step up and guard multiple points across the entire border,” Abbott said. “The Biden administration has completely abandoned all the people who live on the border, and they’ve abandoned people in the state of Texas, and Maria, these are counties and these are people who traditionally have voted Democrat that the Biden administration is ignoring, and he’s putting them in danger.”
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS HOST: Joining me right now, the man who is fighting to stop this surge, Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Governor, it’s good to see you this morning. Thanks very much for being here. Before we get to what your administration is doing to stop all of this, assess where we are, are you seeing this crisis expand beyond what we saw a year ago?
GREG ABBOTT, GOVERNOR OF TEXAS: Oh, absolutely. Listen, this, a year ago, of course, was still during the Trump administration and the Trump administration had put in place all the policies that led to the greatest reduction in cross-border crossings. But now we’re seeing the highest number of cross-border crossings, and it’s all because of the catastrophic open border policies by the Biden administration. And we’re seeing more and more people come in, but I gotta tell you, Maria, there is something that’s happening that’s getting even worse, and that is the cartels are getting even more aggressive. And the cartels on the Mexican side of the border, they’re beginning to open fire on the National Guard that Texas has down on the border to secure the border. This is escalating into a firing war on each side of the border where Texas and our National Guard are having to defend themselves and defend the state of Texas.
BARTIROMO: So, just to be clear, we were in Del Rio, you say it’s getting worse in other areas of Texas then?
ABBOTT: Sure. So, everybody saw what happened in Del Rio with regard to the Haitians that came in there. But right now, the hottest point is in Roma, Texas, in Starr County area. And that’s the area where the cartels on the Mexican side of the border are shooting at the National Guard on the Texas side of the border. And so what Texas is having to do, we’re having to step up and guard multiple points across the entire border.
BARTIROMO: Unbelievable, and I know these Mexican cartels are very smart. They know how to flood one area so it opens up another area so that they could get through smuggling humans and drugs across. We’ve got new unofficial numbers from one of our border sources, it says that in the last month, we saw 187,000 apprehensions, but of course, the number of gotaways is much higher, 42,649 gotaways. 91 people died in the U.S. in the desert. What do you want to say about these gotaways? We just heard from two ranchers that said they’re watching their property damage every day, they have to carry their gun everywhere they go, including to throw away the trash.
ABBOTT: Well listen, those ranchers were spot on in their assessment, and that is the Biden administration has completely abandoned those ranchers. The Biden administration has completely abandoned all the people who live on the border, and they’ve abandoned people in the state of Texas, and Maria, these are counties and these are people who traditionally have voted Democrat that the Biden administration is ignoring, and he’s putting them in danger. And you heard that rancher talk about the need to carry a gun. Remember, Biden said there was no need for anybody ever to have a gun of more than six bullets or six rounds, whatever the case may be. These are people who need the firepower to be able to deal with the cartels who may be coming across the border. And so this is exactly why people need their Second Amendment rights, to protect their own safety and defend themselves now on the border. But it’s also exactly why Texas is stepping up to do more than any state has ever done to help to secure this region so that we can help ranchers like that. It’s why Texas has devoted more than $3 billion to secure the borders; it’s why we have the National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety on the border; it’s why Texas itself is building a border wall to make sure that we will be able to better secure our border.
BARTIROMO: Well, how can you do that? I mean you’re doing that just on state land I know because the Biden administration last week said that it’s canceling all the remaining border wall construction contracts in that area. So, I was there witnessing walls that were half done and the other half is wide open. I mean, it’s quite easy to just get out of, you know, come in from the Rio Grande, jump over, and get in a gotaway car. And and I just want to point out that we understand, another thing that I learned last week, is that these getaway cars are being driven by Americans, so the cartels are advertising their services on TikTok and Snapchat, I’m told. So, look at this graphic where we show cartels are charging the migrants from the Northern Triangle $8,000 to $10,000. But then they’re paying American citizens $1,000 to be that getaway car, 90% of the cars stopped with illegals in them are actually driven by Americans. What can you tell us about this?
ABBOTT: Well, first of all, it’s true. Second, it’s something that the Texas Department of Public Safety has been working on. And we just made it far easier for the Texas Department of Public Safety to both arrest and be able to prosecute these people who are assisting and smuggling. This is an accomplice to a felony in the state of Texas. And so I signed a new law that makes it easier to crack down on smugglers in the state of Texas. And we are going after these people who are responding to these TikTok requests, who were assisting the cartels and smuggling people in the United States. That is a crime. And we’re looking to put these people behind bars.