AUSTIN, Texas - Gov. Greg Abbott was at the Texas-Mexico border Tuesday to get a first-hand look at the latest migrant surge.
Abbott held a press conference at the Del Rio International Bridge, alongside officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Military Department, as well as the National Border Patrol Council.
The visit comes as Abbott requests an emergency declaration from the Biden administration amid a dramatic increase in the number of people trying to cross the border, many of them from Haiti.
More than 13,000 migrants have crossed over from Mexico into Texas in recent days, with thousands continuing to camp under the bridge in Del Rio, waiting to be processed and hoping to be granted asylum.
In a letter to President Joe Biden, Abbott said, "This surge poses life-threatening risk 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."
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was at the border Monday, where he said, "If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned."
Mayorkas has sent hundreds of border patrol agents to the Del Rio Sector to secure the border, but migrants have continued to find places to cross.
"President Biden said, 'You're welcome to come here. We will not deport you,' and that message was sent loud and clear," said Attorney General Ken Paxton, in an interview on "FOX and Friends" Monday.
Texas Republicans like Paxton and Abbott blame the Biden administration’s policies—such as halting deportation flights to Haiti earlier this year—for the current surge in border crossings. However, those flights have now resumed. Border Patrol has already sent thousands of migrants back to Haiti, with six more flights scheduled for Tuesday, and seven flights a day set to begin Wednesday until all migrants are deported.
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