Texas Gov. Greg Abbott blasted President Biden’s move to send 1,500 troops to the southern border, saying the president is sending soldiers to fill out paperwork and not enough to realistically secure the border.
The Republican governor appeared on “Fox News Sunday” to address the chaos at the U.S.-Mexico border ahead of expiring pandemic-era Title 42 policies, which have allowed U.S. officials to turn away tens of thousands of migrants crossing the southern border.
“Only when Biden came in and eliminated all those [Trump-era] policies and put out a welcome mat to the entire world that the border is now open, that we suddenly have the chaos that’s caused solely by policies put into place by Joe Biden,” Abbott said.
The governor slammed Biden’s decision to move troops as “a day late and tens of thousands of soldiers too few.”
“President Trump sent soldiers to the border to secure the border,” Abbott said. “President Biden is sending 1,500 quote soldiers to do paperwork. That is not going to secure the border. We need 15,000 or 150,000 to secure the border because of the open border policies of the Biden administration.”
To address the migrant surge, the Biden administration is sending 1,500 active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to perform data entry, warehouse support, and other administrative tasks so that U.S. Customs and Border Protection can focus on fieldwork, White House officials have said.
The troops “will not be performing law enforcement functions or interacting with immigrants, or migrants,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday. “This will free up Border Patrol agents to perform their critical law enforcement duties.”
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited the Rio Grande Valley last week, saying the situation at the border was “very serious” and “very challenging,” while reiterating that the “border is not open.”
“The border is not open, it has not been open, and it will not be open subsequent to May 11,” he said.
Title 42 is set to expire on May 11.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.