State Watch

Abbott appeals denial of federal emergency declaration at the border

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) submitted a letter to President Biden Thursday to appeal the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of an emergency disaster declaration regarding migrants at the southern border. 

“Securing the border is a federal responsibility,” Abbott wrote in the letter. “Texas will stand with the federal government in responding to this border crisis, but should not have to stand alone or withstand the financial burden without federal assistance.”

Abbott first submitted the request for an emergency declaration in his state on Sept. 20. It was denied on Sept. 29, and Abbott announced he would appeal the decision that same day. 

“Local officials and Texas citizens are fatigued and running out of resources to respond to the ongoing border crisis,” the letter sent on Thursday added.

“The citizens of Texas are resilient and will continue to respond, recover, and mitigate against this crisis, but in order to expedite this process, federal assistance is needed for these vulnerable populations,” he continued.

Abbott’s request comes after thousands of Haitian migrants sought refuge under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, last month. The camp, located on the border of Mexico, was evacuated after an estimated 15,000 migrants gathered there. 

Images of border agents chasing migrants on horseback at the camp added to national outrage about the incident which Biden referred to as “an embarrassment.”

“To see people treated like they did, horses barely running them over and people being strapped. It was outrageous. I promise those people will pay,” Biden said at the time.

Haiti has been roiled by several significant events including the assassination of the country’s president, Jovenel Moïse, and an earthquake that left thousands of Haitians in need of humanitarian aid. 

While migrants were camped under the bridge in Del Rio, Abbott sent a fleet of Public Safety cars to the southern border to create a “steel wall,” blocking migrants from entering into the U.S.  

At the time, the governor said that they were “doing Biden’s job for him.”  

The Hill has reached out to Abbott’s office for comment. 

Tags Greg Abbott Joe Biden

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