Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) spokesman Jeremy Desel announced Thursday that the prison system has started moving inmates from the Dolph Briscoe Unit Prison in Dilley to other jails.
“The state of Texas continues to face a record influx of people crossing the border illegally,” Desel said in the statement. “To deal with the current crisis, Governor Abbott is directing state resources towards the arrest and containment of people who cross the border illegally and who have committed a state or federal crime. “
More than 180,000 migrants attempted to cross the border in May, a record in 20 years, according to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Abbott said on Wednesday that state prisons were looking for additional beds to house the growing number of those arrested.
Abbott also announced that he would spend $ 250 million in state money as a “down payment” to continue building a wall along the Texas border with Mexico as the then president. , Donald Trump, has started.
He said the rest of the funds would be raised through donations and crowdfunding.
Trump has made building a wall along the border an integral part of his presidency, saying it is necessary to prevent migrants and criminals from coming to the United States. And he said Mexico would pay for the wall.
But Mexico did not pay it. Instead, the Trump administration embezzled $ 16.45 billion in federal funds to finance construction that was never completed.
On January 20 – his first day in office – Trump’s successor President Joe Biden issued an executive order that suspends construction of the wall, stating: “A massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious political solution.
Biden’s order was the first in a series of moves to undo many of the Trump administration’s immigration restrictions and put in place what the Biden administration called more humane policies.
But Biden’s policies have also sparked a rush to the southern border of tens of thousands of migrants in hopes that more lenient practices will provide them with a way into the United States.
Abbott’s actions are subject to legal challenges, as the United States Supreme Court has consistently held that immigration law enforcement is the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government.
However, Abbott has been scathing in his criticisms of the Biden administration’s immigration and border protection policies. A spokeswoman for Abbott reiterated the criticism in a statement Thursday.
“As President Biden continues to ignore the crisis at our southern border and his duties to our country, Texas is stepping up and respecting the rule of law,” spokeswoman Renae Eze said.
Trump, Abbott and other Republicans have criticized Biden for rescinding Trump-era immigration restrictions, saying he is to blame for the increase in the number of migrants arriving at the border.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday announced his state would send law enforcement officers to help Texas and Arizona curb migration.
The border crisis is a created crisis resulting from bad political choices. Texas and Arizona have asked Florida for help in doing what Washington will not do: SECURE OUR BORDER. pic.twitter.com/2sJGVKynjH
– Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 17, 2021
Trump plans to visit the Texas-Mexico border later this month with Abbott.
“We have moved from border security that was the envy of the world to a lawless border that is now the envy of the world,” Trump said in a statement on Tuesday announcing that he had accepted an invitation from Abbott to visit the border on June 30.