Greg Abbott Defies Joe Biden Over Texas Border Crisis

Texas Governor Greg Abbott defied President Joe Biden’s new asylum proposal on Friday amid tensions over the U.S.-Mexico border.

Texas has faced the brunt of the massive surge of migrants crossing illegally into the United States through the southern border in recent years. Abbott has used deterrence tactics, such as putting razor wire along the U.S.-Mexico border, and has bused migrants who do come through the border to sanctuary cities.

On Thursday, Biden unveiled proposals aimed at speeding up the asylum claims process for some migrants, including those with prior criminal convictions. For these categories, asylum officers would be given the power to decide migrants are ineligible for asylum at their initial screening, rather than waiting potentially months for a judge to make the ruling.

Biden continues to face bipartisan criticism over his handling of the southern border as the country continues to experience a high number of migrant border crossings. There were more than 2.4 million encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border during the 2023 fiscal year, up from roughly 1.7 million in 2021, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. Republicans say the uptick in migrants is a direct result of Biden’s border policies, which they say incentivize illegal immigration. Other experts, however, say other factors including political and financial instability in some Central American countries drive migration to the U.S.

Greg Abbott and Joe Biden
Texas Governor Greg Abbott is seen at Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas, on February 4. President Joe Biden speaks in Washington, D.C. on May 9. Abbott defied Biden’s new asylum proposal on Friday amid…


In response to Biden’s proposals, Abbott, an outspoken critic of Biden over immigration issues, took to X, formerly Twitter, on Friday to criticize and defy the president.

“Joe Biden’s feckless border proposals are the most minimal action possible. All to mask the crisis he created. Texas’ efforts have led to a DECLINE in illegal crossings while on the rise in other states. Biden would do well to follow Texas’ lead,” the governor wrote.

Newsweek has reached out to Abbott’s office and the White House via email for comment.

Abbott further explained in an accompanying statement on Friday that the proposals will not slow down the number of migrant crossings, adding that Operation Lone Star, which has seen Texas National Guard soldiers previously construct razor wire along the border and place floating buoys in the Rio Grande, have led to a “substantial decline in illegal immigration.”

“To be clear, President Biden’s feckless proposals, which he could have done years ago, do nothing to slow the record-breaking illegal immigration. Our efforts have led to a substantial decline in illegal immigration into Texas while it remains on the rise in other border states. Operation Lone Star is working, and President Biden would do well to follow our lead, or get out of the way,” Abbott added in a statement.

According to Abbott, since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the effort has led to over 510,600 illegal immigrant apprehensions. However, Operation Lone Star, has also been met with criticism as the federal government raised environmental and humanitarian concerns about the deterrents Abbott has used.

Meanwhile, amid the announcement of the new proposals, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said the effort will help by “more quickly identifying and removing those individuals who present a security risk.”

“The proposed rule we have published today is yet another step in our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of the American public by more quickly identifying and removing those individuals who present a security risk and have no legal basis to remain here,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a Thursday statement.