Texas Counties Declare a Disaster; Governor Will Send Biden the Bill



A dozen South Texas counties have declared a state of disaster due to the growing illegal immigration crisis. Announcing that “health, life and property [are under]imminent threat,” beleaguered officials say the influx of border crossers is cannibalizing their limited resources.

“This is getting crazier and crazier and crazier,” said Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin Jr., who reported numerous chases had occurred in his town over a 15-minute span on a recent evening.

Even counties that have yet to declare emergencies encounter daily run-ins with daredevil coyotes and their illegal alien cargo. A high-speed chase in West Texas last month ended in the backyard of the Presidio County sheriff’s home. As with most such pursuits, migrants bailed out and eluded authorities.

Motels in rural communities are filling up with asylum-seeking migrants. The federal government and social-service agencies like Endeavors pay for their transportation, room and board. But local hospitals, schools and law enforcement, left to fend for themselves, are straining to the breaking point. “There has been no surge in assistance for border counties,” Jackson County Sheriff A.J. Louderback told a congressional delegation in the Rio Grande Valley town of Edinburg last month.

Far beyond the border, 90-plus illegal aliens were found crammed inside a Houston home last week, apparent victims of a human-smuggling operation. Days before, 33 Guatemala nationals turned up in a stash house in Midland, a Permian Basin oil city. In San Antonio, unaccompanied minors from a migrant detention center were reportedly released to traffickers.

If, through its feckless and reckless policies, the U.S. government has become “the logistics arm of the cartels,” as Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., suggested in Edinburg, Texans and migrants are paying a terrible price.

Gov. Greg Abbott has not declared a statewide emergency and declined to activate National Guard units requested by the disaster-declaring jurisdictions. But the Republican did direct all 254 counties to submit an accounting of illegal alien-related costs, which he will forward to Washington for reimbursement. (Good luck with that.)

Before Joe Biden moved into the White House, FAIR estimated that illegal immigration cost the Lone Star State more than $11 billion a year. As Texas counties count their expenses from this ongoing border crisis, the tab has nowhere to go but up.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.