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By Danielle Wallace | Fox News | Published May 8, 2023 11:45am EDT


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday announced a new Texas Tactical Border Force ahead of the expiration of the Title 42 public health order, which helped block migrants from entering the U.S. In response to “Joe Biden’s reckless border policies,” the Texas National Guard is loading Black Hawk helicopters and C-130s to deploy specially trained National Guard members to “hotspots along the border to intercept, to repel and to turn back migrants who are trying to enter Texas illegally,” Abbott said at a press conference from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. 

In a statement, the Texas National Guard said it activated 545 more service members at locations around the state Monday to “reinforce the border mission in anticipation of the end of Title 42 immigration restrictions.”


Abbott greets national guard
Gov. Greg Abbott shakes hands with members of the Texas National Guard as they prepare to deploy to the border in Austin, Texas, Monday, May 8, 2023. The Title 42 policy is set to expire Thursday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“These additional forces will bolster the thousands of Texas National Guard service members already assisting local and state law enforcement agencies to secure the border; stop the smuggling of drugs, weapons and people into Texas; and prevent, detect, and interdict transnational criminal behavior between the ports of entry,” the Texas National Guard said in a statement Monday. “We have expanded our capabilities to include boat teams that patrol hundreds of river miles, drones and helicopters that detect illicit activity from the air, and brush teams, security points and roving patrols that block and interdict illegal smuggling (drugs, weapons and people) into Texas.”


Abbott was joined by Texas Border Czar Mike Banks, Texas National Guard Adjunct Gen. Thomas Suelzer and Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw in making the announcement. 

Texas National Guard at border
Members of the Texas National Guard install barbed wire on the border between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on May 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Christian Chavez)

“President [Joe] Biden is laying down a welcome mat to people across the entire world saying that the United States border is wide open, and it will lead to an incredible amount of people coming across the border illegally. President Biden’s open border policies is going to cause a catastrophic disaster in the United States,” Abbott said.

“According to the Biden administration itself, they anticipate about 13,000 people coming across the border illegally every single day,” the governor added. “If you extend that out over the course of a year, it means it will be about 4,700,000 people coming across the border a year. That will mean there will be more people coming across the border illegally than there are residents of the massive city of Chicago.”

Abbott makes border announcement
Gov. Greg Abbott holds a news conference as members of the Texas National Guard prepare to deploy to the border. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The Texas Tactical Border Force is meant to bolster Operation Lone Star, which Abbott said has turned back 37,000 people who already came across the border illegally, arrested about 27,000 dangerous criminals, including “cartel gang members” who are wanted for crimes like murder, and seized “enough fentanyl that would have been enough to kill every man, woman and child in the United States.”

Danielle Wallace is a reporter for Fox News Digital covering politics, crime, police and more. Story tips can be sent to and on Twitter: @danimwallace. 

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