FIRST ON FOX: The Texas Republican delegation in the House has written to President Biden calling on him to reimburse the Lone Star state for its efforts to secure its southern border – and requesting a meeting to discuss the crisis now in its third year.
"For the last two years, the State of Texas has been forced to take unprecedented steps to address this crisis," the 25 members of the GOP delegation, led by Reps. August Pfluger, Pat Fallon, Jody Arrington, Chip Roy and Tony Gonzales, say in a letter to Biden.
The crisis that saw more than 1.7 million migrant encounters in FY 2021 and more than 2.3 million in FY 2022 has shown signs of eclipsing those numbers in FY 2023. January saw more than 250,000 migrant encounters alone, the highest month on record.
While the Biden administration has pointed to a hemisphere-wide challenge and pursued a strategy that involves tackling "root causes," cracking down on smuggling and expanding legal pathways, Republicans have blamed the administration’s rollback of Trump-era border protections for the crisis.
The delegation’s letter says the crisis was brought upon "by your administration’s failed policies."
In response to the crisis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in 2021, which involved surging resources to the border, busing migrants to "sanctuary" cities and constructing its own version of the border wall after the Biden administration canceled construction of the Trump-era barrier.
Abbott’s office says that has led to more than 23,000 arrests and the busing of more than 16,000 migrants to New York City, Washington D. C., Chicago and Philadelphia. Abbott himself presented a letter to Biden during the latter’s recent trip to El Paso, Texas.
Both Abbott and the House lawmakers have accused the federal government of not doing enough to secure the border, leaving Texas to fend for itself -- noting also the national security threats posed at the border, including dozens of people on the terror watch list stopped by Border Patrol.
"Ranchers throughout west Texas routinely find bodies of dead migrants, or have their private property destroyed," the delegation writes. "Drugs flowing across our border have led to a record-number of American lives being ruined by poisonings from synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl. Small localities along the border are suffering from the federal government's failures. These towns should not be forced to reallocate their already exhausted resources to secure their communities."... (Read more)
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