Can Gov. Greg Abbott close federal points of entry at the Texas border? The short answer is “no.”
Abbott announced Thursday plans to shut down six points of entry along the border in response to reports of thousands of asylum-seeking migrants, mostly from Haiti, waiting to processed under an international bridge in Del Rio, Texas.
In the statement, Abbott called the Biden Administration “negligent” in securing the border.
“I have directed the Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to surge personnel and vehicles to shut down six points of entry along the southern border to stop these caravans from overrunning our state,” Abbott said in his statement. “The border crisis is so dire that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is requesting our help as their agents are overwhelmed by the chaos.”
Unfortunately for Abbott, he and the state of Texas do not have unilateral authority to shut down U.S. Customs and Border Protection federal ports of entry, unless granted permission by CBP.
Abbott seems to have realized his mistake, sending out a second statement by email Thursday afternoon seemingly backtracking on his plans and blaming the Biden administration for “flip-flopping” over its alleged ask for help.
“[The Biden administration] has now flip-flopped to a different strategy that abandons border security and instead makes it easier for people to cross illegally and for cartels to exploit the border,” Abbott said in the second statement. “I have directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to maintain their presence at and around ports of entry to deter crossings.”
A CBP spokesperson said the federal government has no such plans to close points of entry, as reported by Uriel J. Garcia and Jolie McCullough of the Texas Tribune.
Written by Ariana Garcia