Texas National Guard soldiers blocked a line of migrants attempting to illegally cross the southern border on Wednesday, one day before the Trump-era Title 42 policy is set to expire.
Video captured by journalist Todd Bensman shows a wall of razor wire ordered by Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and state authorities blocking immigrants crossing the Rio Grande River attempting to enter the city of Brownsville, Texas.
“Great work by Texas National Guard and Texas DPS,” Abbott tweeted. “Biden sent 1,500 troops to the border to do paperwork. Texas deployed trained soldiers and troopers to take real action and respond to this crisis.”
Great work by Texas National Guard and Texas DPS.
Biden sent 1,500 troops to the border to do paperwork.
Texas deployed trained soldiers and troopers to take real action and respond to this crisis. https://t.co/bVMeG0geQl
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 10, 2023
The move comes as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources told Fox News that the agency apprehended more than 10,000 migrants illegally crossing the border on both Monday and Tuesday, which marked the highest single-day totals ever recorded.
Drone footage from Fox News on Tuesday evening showed a massive group of migrants crossing illegally into Brownsville.
CBP sources told the outlet that Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector hit 140% capacity in its facilities.
NEW: Our Fox drone over another enormous group of migrants who crossed illegally into Brownsville yesterday evening. As of yesterday, CBP sources tell us Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector was already running at 140% capacity in its facilities, and T42 hasn’t dropped yet. pic.twitter.com/GME9W5dEbV
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) May 10, 2023
Abbott deployed up to 10,000 specially trained National Guard members from the Texas Tactical Border Force and 1,200 Texas Department of Public Safety troopers on Monday to secure the Texas border amidst the “chaos” caused by Biden’s elimination of Title 42, a Trump-era public health order that allowed for the immediate expulsion of illegal immigrants. Biden’s critics have predicted Title 42’s expiration will bring a fresh cascade of illegal migration upward of 13,000 crossings a day. The policy expires at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday.
“They will be deployed to hot spots along the border to intercept to repel and to turn back migrants who are trying to enter Texas illegally,” Abbott said at a news conference, adding that the elite National Guard would identify, fill in the gaps, and shut down some 29 crossing points along the border using equipment and tools such as aircraft, boats, night vision equipment, and riot gear.
Biden, who acknowledged that the border would be “chaotic for a while,” announced last week the administration would send 1,500 troops for administrative and logistical functions, leaving the Border Patrol to actively police the border and apprehend migrants.
Biden officials announced on Wednesday that the administration would reinstate a Trump-era immigration rule which disqualifies migrants from applying for asylum in the U.S. if they neglected to first apply for asylum in other countries they traveled through, such as Mexico.
The new policy, a reversal of President Joe Biden’s campaign promises, comes as the administration has failed for more than two years to control historic levels of illegal immigration into the U.S.
Immigration officials have seen a steady surge in illegal migration in the weeks leading up to Title 42’s end. On Monday, border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz reported that Border Patrol averaged nearly 9,000 migrant apprehensions per day and tallied over 7,000 gotaways, illegal immigrants who were seen entering the U.S. but could not be apprehended.
Republican lawmakers accused the Biden administration on Wednesday of having a slow response to the border crisis.
“The administration has failed to acknowledge the crisis at our border, and is recognizing in the 11th hour that the upcoming removal of Title 42 authorities, and the subsequent surge in border crossings that is predicted, will have disastrous effects on the security of our nation,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter led by Senator Mitt Romney to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Tim Pearce contributed to this report.