McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent President Joe Biden a letter demanding U.S. officials shore up security on the Texas/Mexico border and to ask Mexico’s president during Thursday’s North American Leaders’ Summit to remove federal forces from U.S. businesses south of the border.
Biden is hosting Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obredor and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House in the first summit of the three nations to be held since 2016.
Immigration is slated to be among topics discussed. Other topics include: climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and economic growth among the three nations.
“During the Summit, the United States, Mexico, and Canada will reaffirm their strong ties and integration while also charting a new path for collaboration on ending the COVID-19 pandemic and advancing health security; competitiveness and equitable growth, to include climate change; and a regional vision for migration,” according to the White House.
But, Abbott wants border security to be central to the talks.
“Two urgent issues that require attention from the Mexican Government: border security, and energy. I ask that you raise these concerns during your time together,” Abbott wrote in his Wednesday letter.
“Your administration refuses to enforce our immigration laws and to secure our southern border. Unfortunately, Mexico has also been unwilling to stem the flow of illegal immigration and thus contributed to the open border situation. As a result of the inaction by your administration and the Mexican government, I launched Operation Lone Star in early March to help secure the border and combat the smuggling of people and drugs in Texas,” Abbott wrote.
“In the absence of federal action, Texas will continue to step up. I urge you to engage the Mexican government about ways to prevent the smuggling of individuals, drugs, and the continued flow of illegal immigrants into Texas.”
Abbott has sent thousands of state troopers and National Guard units to the South Texas border — from Del Rio to Brownsville — as part of Operation Lone Star. Nearly 10,000 arrests have been made and millions of dollars worth of narcotics and cash have been seized, according to DPS officials.
Billions of dollars have been spent on the operation and some Democrats now are calling on the Department of Homeland Security to investigate what they call Abbott’s attempt to “establish a separate state immigration policy.”
In an Oct. 29 letter from several Democratic leaders, including U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro, Veronica Escobar, and Filemon Vela, of Texas, they wrote: “Governor Abbott’s use of military and police presence on the border and his arrests of migrants have overwhelmed local justice systems, leaving legal and logistical problems and prolonged delays.”
“The Governor’s efforts have led to the wrongful separation of families and the violation of state and federal laws,” they wrote in the letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Abbott also asked Biden bring up with Mexico’s president reports that American businesses are being targeted by Mexican National Guard units and to “protect American assets from seizure by the Mexican government.”
“The current situation is untenable for U.S. companies seeking to continue business operations, and is quickly becoming an outright barrier to free trade, energy transactions, and U.S. private investment in the region,” he wrote.
This is the first North American Leaders’ Summit held between the three countries since talks were suspended when President Donald Trump was in office.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at SSanchez@BorderReport.com.