Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday issued a disaster declaration for Texas’ Southern border, citing “an ongoing and imminent threat of widespread and severe damage, loss of life, property damage, human trafficking, violent crime, and threats to public health” that he attributed to a recent rise in migration.
The declaration gives the directive and the power to border security agencies to use any means necessary, including requesting the suspension of law, to cope with what the governor is calling a “violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Leaders in border communities responded quickly.
“Apparently, Governor Abbott has information that we don’t have,” said Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez in a statement issued shortly after Abbott’s declaration. “In speaking to local law enforcement, they have not reported levels of criminal activity that would require a disaster declaration.”