Gov. Abbott requests federal emergency declaration from Biden in response to migrant surge in Del Rio
Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting a federal emergency declaration for the state of Texas in response to the thousands of Haitian migrants at the state's border.
"This surge poses life-threatening risks to residents of Val Verde County and is quickly overrunning law enforcement and health care and humanitarian resources which were never intended to be used in this capacity," Abbott said in a statement. "Even the limited federal resources in the area are strained by the large number of individuals illegally crossing into Texas. I have determined that the disaster caused from individuals unlawfully crossing the Texas-Mexico border is of such severity that supplementary federal assistance is necessary to lessen the threat of disaster, save lives, and protect property, public health, and safety."
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Monday more than 6,000 Haitians and other migrants have been removed from under the bridge in Del Rio. Mayorkas also said 600 Homeland Security employees have been brought to the Del Rio sector to enhance their operational capabilities.
On Friday, Gov. Abbott signed HB9, which appropriated $1.8 billion to Texas border security efforts.
Starting Monday, $100 million in grant funding is available for local governments through the Operation Lone Star (OLS) Grant Program.
"The grant funding available through this program will strengthen our response to the crisis at the border and help keep our communities safe," Abbott said in a statement. "I encourage local governments to apply for these funds to enhance our ongoing collaborative efforts to deter illegal immigration and prevent the smuggling of people, drugs, weapons, and other contraband into our state."
Click here for more information about the program.
Gov. Abbott is expected to provide a security update from Del Rio on Tuesday. He'll be joined by Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, Texas Military Department Adjutant General Tracy Norris, and National Border Patrol Council President (NBPC) Brandon Judd.