Update (5:22 p.m.)

Officials with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office released a statement from Abbott regarding the federal judge’s decision to keep the Title 42 expulsions in place. The statement reads:

“Another federal court announced today what we have known all along: President Biden is ignoring federal law with his open border policies. While today’s court ruling rejecting President Biden’s ending of Title 42 expulsions is a positive development, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants remain at our southern border ready to flood into Texas. Texas will continue utilizing all available resources and strategies to prevent this mass illegal migration, including the deployment of Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas National Guard Resources, the coordination with Mexican border governors, and the activation of the Joint Border Security Operations Center. We remain vigilant in fighting the lifting of Title 42 expulsions.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Original Story:

AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —Officials from the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that the Joint Border Security Operations Center (JBSOC) is activated to secure the border. Officials said Abbott directed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Texas Military Department (TMD), and Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to help Texas’ response.

This center was initially in preparation for President Biden’s decision to end Title 42 expulsions on Monday. However, according to reports, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled Friday that the Biden administration must continue Title 42, which prohibits entry into the United States if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes it could introduce communicable diseases into the country. There is no word yet on how this center may be impacted because of this change.

“Texas will not stand by as President Biden puts our state and our nation in danger by ending Title 42 expulsions and allowing dangerous criminals, illegal weapons, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to flow unabated into the United States, and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis at our southern border,” Governor Abbott said prior to the federal judge’s decision. “We continue taking unprecedented action to secure the border, ramping up every available strategy and resource in response to President Biden’s ongoing border crisis. The Joint Border Security Operations Center will play an integral role in our state’s robust response to provide the border security strategy Texans — and Americans — deserve.”

Governor officials said, the JBSOC, located at DPS headquarters in Austin, will serve as the state’s multi-agency command and coordination center for statewide border security intelligence and operations. The agency includes tactical, marine, air, and ground. It will also coordinate the deployment of strategic barriers along the Texas-Mexico border, including razor wire. Abbott officials said, Live feeds from Texas National Guard and DPS aircraft, UAVs, and detection cameras will provide around-the-clock situational awareness. The JBSOC will have direct contact with law enforcement and local leaders along the Texas-Mexico border. 

According to Governor Abbott’s office, he directed the following state agencies to report to the JBSOC:

  • Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Texas Military Department
  • Texas Division of Emergency Management
  • Texas Department of Transportation 
  • Texas Facilities Commission (TFC)
  • Texas Commission on Law Enforcement 
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)
  • Texas Commission on Jail Standards 
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)
  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission
  • Texas Fire Marshal’s Office
  • Texas Attorney General’s Office
  • Texas Indigent Defense Commission
  • Border Prosecution Unit
  • Office of Court Administration

Officials said Governor Abbott has taken significant action to secure the border in the wake of the federal government’s inaction. Those actions include:

  • Securing $4 billion in funding for Texas’ border security efforts.
  • Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers.
  • Arresting and jailing illegal migrants trespassing or committing other state crimes in Texas.
  • Allocating resources that include acquiring 1,700 unused steel panels to build the border wall in Texas.
  • Signing a law to make it easier to prosecute smugglers bringing people into Texas.
  • Signing 15 laws cracking down on human trafficking in Texas.
  • Signing a law enhancing penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl.
  • Issuing a disaster declaration for the border crisis.
  • Issuing an executive order preventing non-governmental entities from transporting illegal immigrants.
  • Taking legal action to enforce the Remain in Mexico policy.
  • Signing memoranda of understanding between the State of Texas and the States of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to enhance border security measures that will prevent illegal immigration from Mexico to Texas.