Americans had “no idea” that electing Joe Biden as president would “lead to this level of chaos” at the nation’s southern border, but the administration “refuses to even pretend as though there’s a crisis,” according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. 

“This is going to be chaos as long as the Biden administration is in charge,” the Republican governor told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham Monday night. “Americans probably had no idea it was going to lead to this level of chaos as you saw all those people streaming across the border.”

However, Democrats have been clear they wanted open border policies, Abbott added. “Let’s go back one year ago, back when the Democrats were sharing a debate stage, and you had Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke and others all talking about how they wanted to have open border policies in the United States,” he said. 

Earlier on Monday, the Texas governor asked Biden in a letter to declare a federal emergency and provide resources because of the massive migrant surge situation at the border near Del Rio, where thousands of immigrants, mostly Haitians, have gathered in an attempt to enter the United States, reports The Dallas Morning News. 

In the letter, the governor wrote that the federal government’s “failure to enforce immigration laws and in particular, its failure to halt illegal crossings on a dam on federal property, which is the sole jurisdiction of the federal government,” is making it too difficult for the state of Texas, Del Rio, and Val Verde County to respond to the “concentrated surge” of immigrants who illegally crossed into the state last week. 

The migrants are camped near the Del Rio International Bridge. Abbott said in his letter that the number grew to about 16,000 people as of Saturday. 

“Thousands of families are immobilized in 100-degree heat as their numbers continue to swell as they wait to be processed by the approximately 64 federal agents in the area,” he wrote. “Individuals are camping in squalid conditions and bathing in muddy river water, causing great health concerns.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday said the administration is already moving on several ways to assist the migrants and improve conditions in Haiti. Many of the migrants have been living in Central America for years after the 2010 earthquake in their island nation. 

Abbott told Ingraham Monday night about a report with comments from a Border Patrol agent who said the reason control was gained in the Del Rio sector earlier in the day was not because of the federal government, but because of the Texas Department of Safety. 

“What we did was we put hundreds of Texas Department of Safety cars and created a steel wall — a steel wall of DPS vehicles — that prevented anybody from crossing that steel dam that you’ve seen people walking across, that you’ve seen people walking into the state of Texas,” said Abbott. “We effectively, as the officer said, regained effective control of the border at the Rio Grande sector because the Texas Department of Safety stepped up.”

The governor has planned a news conference Tuesday at the Del Rio International Bridge, The Dallas Morning News reports.