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Gov. Abbott ramps up border initiatives and rhetoric ahead of the rollback of a pandemic health order that paused migrant entry

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Governor Greg Abbott unveiling new border wall construction in Rio Grande City
Office Of The Governor, 12/18/21
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An emergency health order issued by former president Trump allowed authorities to turn away migrants at the border during the pandemic, even those seeking refuge in the U.S. from violence, political instability and natural disasters.

Following the Biden administration's recent announcement of plans to roll back Title 42, Gov. Greg Abbott unveiled plans to ramp up the state's response to an anticipated influx of migrants at Texas' southern border, which Abbott says will be “cataclysmic.”

The series of actions announced by Abbott on April 6 included a voluntary program to transport migrants to the nation's capital; additional blockades in high-traffic areas; and enhanced inspections of commercial vehicles coming into Texas from Mexico.

Abbott is expected to announce more policies this week to address what he called "the open border problem."

Texas' governor has also touted the success of Operation Lone Star, during which he deployed state Department of Public Safety troopers and more than 10,000 Texas National Guard members to secure the border, but the data doesn’t back up his claims.

How will lifting Title 42 affect border operations? How many more migrants are expected to arrive at the border seeking entry?

What is the federal government's plan to handle the influx? What are the biggest challenges?

Who is actually in charge of immigration enforcement on Texas' southern border? How legitimate or effective are state-backed border enforcement efforts?

It's not uncommon for Republicans to campaign on promises of securing the border. Are Abbott's new border plans and harsh rhetoric part of his reelection strategy?

Guests:

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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, April 12.

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