The Biden administration refused Gov. Greg Abbott’s appeal that the federal government reimburse Texas for millions of dollars spent responding to the migrant crisis at the southern border.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell denied the Texas Republican’s request that the agency reconsider its denial to approve the state’s request for an emergency declaration, the Washington Examiner reported.
Criswell notified the governor of the decision in a letter sent Sunday.
“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,” Criswell wrote, according to a copy of the letter shared with the Examiner.
“Therefore, I must inform you that your appeal for an emergency declaration is denied.”
Abbott sent a Sept. 20 letter to President Joe Biden requesting help.
The governor urged the government to honor his disaster status and pay for the higher-than-normal state and local operations on the basis that “border security is a federal responsibility,” the Examiner said.
Abbott did not say how much Texas had spent to secure the border, though he did say “thousands” of National Guard members and state police have been sent to the border since Operation Lone Star was a launched in March.
After the administration rejected his first claim, Abbott appealed the decision on Oct. 7.
Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, sent a joint letter to Biden in support of Abbott’s appeal.
“In the last eight months alone, over a million individuals crossed illegally into the United States, which is now on pace for over 2 million illegal crossings for 2021,” the two senators wrote.
“The state and local communities in Texas bear direct and indirect costs of the increasing volume of illegal immigration along the southwest border, and federal assistance is necessary to further protect the lives, property, public health, and safety of the communities along the border.”
Texas officials are bracing for a possible rush of more than 60,000 Haitian migrants just weeks after thousands of Haitians arrived in the border town of Del Rio, Texas.
The Biden administration not only has limited the reach of Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it also has been releasing migrants into the U.S.