Greg Abbott says Biden was ‘non-committal’ when he handed over letter during ‘dog and pony’ El Paso trip with five proposals to address the border crisis – and it was ‘outrageous’ he did not visit any migrants
- Texas Governor Greg Abbott dismissed President Joe Biden’s border visit on Fox News the day after the commander-in-chief stopped in El Paso, Texas
- He said Biden was ‘cordial’ but did not seem to take his proposals to heart
- Biden is now in Mexico for a ‘three amigos’ summit with his geo counterparts
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Monday that President Joe Biden seemed ‘non-committal’ about a letter the Republican handed him during the commander-in-chief’s trip to the southern border.
Abbott dismissed the visit to the border city of El Paso, Texas as a ‘dog and pony show’ during an appearance on Fox News the day after it happened.
Biden met with border officials and other state and local authorities on Sunday after nearly two years of pressure on him to see the migrant crisis firsthand.
He’s since moved on to Mexico for a ‘three amigos’ summit with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts.
Upon Biden’s arrival in the Lone Star State, Abbott handed him a letter blaming his administration for the ongoing crisis and outlining a series of hardline measures to curb undocumented migration.
‘I pointed to several issues in the letter I wanted him to focus on. I wanted to make clear he was receiving a sanitized review of what was going on in the border,’ Abbott told Fox.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said President Joe Biden was ‘cordial’ but ‘non-committal’ during his Sunday border trip
The governor said he ‘pleaded’ with Biden to speak to ranchers who lived along the border or to loved ones of cartel murder victims, and added it was ‘outrageous’ that Biden did not meet with migrants themselves.
Abbott suggested Biden was relatively unfazed by his letter and recommendations.
‘He said he looked forward to working with us,’ the Republican leader said.
‘He was cordial about it, but obviously non-committal about anything.’
The governor added that Biden’s response meant little until action was taken.
Abbott handed Biden a letter upon his arrival blaming him for the border crisis
Immigrants sleep on the sidewalk near a migrant shelter on January 9, 2023 in El Paso, Texas
The five border demands in Gov. Abbott’s letter
Gov. Greg Abbott made five demands in the letter he handed to President Joe Biden on Sunday:
You must comply with the many statutes mandating that various categories of aliens ‘shall’ be detained, and end the practice of unlawfully paroling aliens en masse.
You must stop sandbagging the implementation of the Remain-in-Mexico policy and Title 42 expulsions, and fully enforce those measures as the federal courts have ordered you to do.
You must aggressively prosecute illegal entry between ports of entry, and allow ICE to remove illegal immigrants in accordance with existing federal laws.
You must immediately resume construction of the border wall in the State of Texas, using the billions of dollars Congress has appropriated for that purpose.
You must designate the Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
‘Until they step up and start doing this, all these other things they are doing is nothing more than a dog and pony show, and is not going to stop anybody from coming across the border illegally,’ Abbott said.
In the letter Abbott blasted Biden’s visit — his first to the border as president — saying that the city had been cleaned up for his trip.
And he characterized the trip as ‘$20 billion too little and two years too late’ in a scathing description of Biden’s failure to control illegal migration.
‘Even the city you visit has been sanitized of the migrant camps which had overrun downtown El Paso because your administration wants to shield you from the chaos that Texans experience on a daily basis,’ he wrote
Biden touched down in the border city around midday on Sunday in what officials hoped was a chance to underscore his commitment to tackling illegal immigration.
Republicans have used record numbers of illegal arrivals to bludgeon the Biden administration during the past two years.
But any slight hopes that they might welcome the president’s attention to the issue quickly evaporated as Abbot could be seen on the asphalt handing a letter to the president.
‘Under your watch … America is suffering the worst illegal immigration in the history of our country,’ it says.
‘Your open-border policies have emboldened the cartels, who grow wealthy by trafficking deadly fentanyl and even human beings.’
He urged Biden to resume building the border wall that was begun under President Donald Trump.
And he said the Biden administration must designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
‘When you finish the photo-ops in a carefully stage-managed version of El Paso, you have a job to do,’ added Abbott.