El Paso: Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s initiative to build more border wall will only shift the flow of illegal immigration, not stem it, without additional federal resources, former US Border Patrol sector chief Victor Manjarrez told Sputnik.
On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump accepted Abbott’s invitation to make an official visit at the southern border on June 30. The announcement came just days after the governor signed an order authorizing border expansion.
“You’ll see a shift [of illegal migration] from south Texas to other parts of the southern border that avoid Texas,” Manjarrez said. “These smuggling organizations, they’re not dumb, they adapt super quick. They adapt better than the government does, but that’s the nature of it.”
Last week, the Texas governor announced an initiative to enhance border security to stem illegal immigration, including plans to build additional wall on the state’s border with Mexico and to approve a $1 billion budget for border security. Abbott said he will ask the US public for donations to build the Texas border wall.
Although Abbott’s measures seek to stem the influx of migrants coming to the border, Manjarrez said the initiatives will only redirect the flow to other regions along the US-Mexico border.
The Rio Grande Valley region in south Texas has borne the brunt of the mass surge of migrants coming to the US-Mexico border. Manjarrez said he expects the flow of migrants coming to the southern border will gradually move north along the Texas-Mexico border and into southern Arizona.
Last week, Abbott signed an agreement with Arizona that empowers states to help each other in times of disaster and emergency. The Texas governor called on other states to join in on the agreement to help Texas solve the border crisis.
Abbott’s request to other states for help to curb illegal migration, Manjarrez said, makes sense because, “most of that activity doesn’t look to stay in the immediate border area, it’s a transit point, they [migrants] want to go into the interior of the United States.”
Earlier this month, US Vice President Kamala Harris during a visit to Guatemala warned migrants in Central America to not come to the United States because they will be turned away.
Manjarrez said these types of statements from US officials drive smuggling fees up and only encourage more migrants to come to the border before the window of opportunity closes.
“That verbiage is actually different from putting resources on the ground,” Manjarrez said. “You can say something but you can’t really back it up until you get resources out there.”
Manjarrez said Abbott may be trying to prove a point that he is required to spend Texas taxpayers’ money because the Biden administration is failing to meet is federal obligation.
CBP data revealed this month that the number of asylum-seeking migrants apprehended along the southern border with Mexico in May set another record, reaching a new 21-year monthly high of 180,034.
A total of 929,868 migrants have been apprehended illegally crossing the US-Mexico since October, putting the Biden administration on pace to break the previous annual record of 977,509 set in 2019.
The United States has apprehended more than 1.5 million illegal migrants at the southern border with Mexico in 1986, 1996, 1998-2000, according to CBP data.