El Paso congresswoman denounces Abbott’s disaster declaration and his wishes to arrest every border crosser

Border Report

Migrants wait at an intake area after turning themselves in upon crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, late Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in La Joya, Texas. The U.S. government continues to report large numbers of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border with an increase in adult crossers. But families and unaccompanied children are still arriving in dramatic numbers despite the weather changing in the Rio Grande Valley registering hotter days and nights. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar is responding to Gov. Greg Abbott’s emergency disaster declaration that orders state child care facilities to refuse or revoke Texas licensing to facilities caring for unaccompanied migrant children.

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas.

“It’s cruelty not against adults, not against the government, not against Joe Biden — It’s cruelty against children,” Escobar tells Border Report. 

Under the executive order, more than 4,000 migrant children under state care face relocation.

There are currently 52 state-licensed residential operations and child-placing facilities across Texas that are partnering with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to care for the children.

“The Biden administration’s immigration policies are failing Texans, causing a humanitarian crisis in many Texas communities along the border,” Abbott writes in the directive.

The Biden administration has been working to revive contracts with licensed-care facilities across Texas after the Trump administration unraveled contracts with the facilities.

Escobar says it took some time for the Biden Administration to revamp the contracts, which is about the time emergency influx facilities were created.

The facilities, like the ones on Ft. Bliss serves as short-term safe space options as the government works to process migrant children.

Ft. Bliss does not face license revocation under the order because it is an emergency influx facility, it’s not one of the state- licensed shelters.

Abbott’s policies are aligning very closely with the ideologies of former President Trump and Stephen Miller, says Escobar. 

“What Governor Abbott has done in his executive orders is essentially take his cues from and literally take his orders from Stephen Miller. There are indications that Miller influenced the Governor, and sure enough, there’ve been positive remarks by Miller about this move by the Governor,” says Escobar.

On Monday, former President Trump endorsed Abbott’s run for re-election.

“Greg Abbott is a fighter and a Great Governor for the incredible people of Texas,” Trump wrote in a statement. “Governor Greg Abbott will continue to be a great leader for the Lone Star State, and has my Complete and Total Endorsement for re-election. He will never let you down!”

Trump’s endorsement comes two months after the America First Legal Foundation, a legal entity founded by Miller, joined the state of Texas in suing the Biden Administration in response to its border policies.

Miller’s group is paying for the exorbitant legal fees in the lawsuit that alleges the Biden Administration failed to plan how to process unaccompanied migrant children and also claims it exposed Americans to COVID-19. 

“By releasing unvaccinated and potentially coronavirus-infected aliens en masse into the country – aliens who have been smuggled and housed in extremely unsanitary conditions – the Biden administration is sabotaging the public health of Texans and all Americans,” Miller wrote.

Escobar is having none of it.

“That means — and this is so important for folks to understand. This means that the person behind one of the cruelest and most heinous public policies in our generation, which was family separations, is now helping guide the policies of Greg Abbott,” she says.

“That means — and this is so important for folks to understand. This means that the person behind one of the cruelest and most heinous public policies in our generation, which was family separations, is now helping guide the policies of Greg Abbott.”

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas

On Friday, Abbott told Fox News that “We got a new game in town in the state of Texas that’s going to start next week” and also expressed his desire to arrest “everybody coming across the border.”

“This means that Gov. Abbott is uninterested in helping address the situation in a strategic or humane way, it means that he’s chosen to use cruelty as a weapon,” Escobar said.

Abbott is leading a “Border Security Summit” next week in Del Rio, Texas, with a coterie of local law enforcement officials that he says illuminates the situation.

“I think it’s important that we let that settle in,” says Escobar. “That we have a governor that is using the power of his office to inflict cruelty on vulnerable children.”

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