With a massive migrant caravan likely heading toward the unsecured southern Texas border, Gov. Greg Abbott is preparing to stop it with a surge of equipment and personnel called Operation Lone Star. Notably, Abbott is preparing without help from the Biden Administration’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Twice during the recent spate of border incursions, Abbott has appealed to FEMA to not only honor his declaration of a state of emergency but also reimburse the state millions of dollars regarding the Texas response to the crisis at its southern border. A crisis that has only been exacerbated by Biden’s Day One reversals of Trump-era immigration policies. And twice Abbott’s appeals for government reimbursement for the millions of dollars Texas has already spent have been rejected.
“After a thorough review of all the information contained in your initial request and appeal, we reaffirm our original findings that supplemental federal assistance under the Stafford Act is not warranted for this event. Therefore, I must inform you that your appeal for an emergency declaration is denied,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell wrote in a letter shared with the Washington Examiner.
What is the Stafford Act? It’s 192 pages of Washington-ese that authorize federal technical, financial, logistical, and other aid for states during declared major disasters or emergencies. Once a disaster or emergency is declared, FEMA can then deliver the aid resources to the affected states. Federal aid is supposed to be provided under the Stafford Act “if an event is beyond the combined response capabilities of state and local governments.” Clearly, the unending border crisis is beyond the limited capabilities of Texas—or any border state—to respond to effectively because it’s truly the responsibility of the federal government and, more specifically, the president and vice president.
How then do we explain Biden’s FEMA not considering a veritable invasion of foreign nationals to be a major disaster or emergency? Could it be the Biden Administration wants the crisis to continue, straining Texas’s resources as its inaction permits more than a million people to illegally enter the U.S.? The more migrants who enter illegally under Biden’s broken immigration policies, the higher the strain is on state resources and the fewer resources governors like Abbott have to use for other priorities. The border crisis isn’t simply a problem or minor inconvenience for our border towns. Illegal immigration and its crime reach deep into our nation far from the southern border.