Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reported Sunday that Border Patrol agents informed him President Biden's "open borders policies" are causing the ongoing crisis at the southern border and resulting in the enrichment of dangerous drug cartels.
The agents reportedly told the governor during his visit to the southern border last week they had warned the Biden administration to no avail that his policy changes would result in a "massive surge" in illegal immigration and that it was only going to get "far worse in the coming months."
Abbott relayed details about the meeting during an interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo over the weekend.
"They also said that the reason for the change, the reason for the increase and the influx is because of the policy change by the Biden administration," Abbott said. "More importantly, though is ... Border Patrol officers told me that the Biden administration policies, they are enriching and they are empowering the drug cartels in Mexico, who make money off of the people that they assist in smuggling them into the state of Texas."
"The cartels make money off of these migrants that you and your viewers see on TV. They also told me about the escalating numbers of the people coming across the border," he added.
"In the Rio Grande Valley sector alone, all of last year, they made 90,000 apprehensions. Already this year, in the first two-and-a-half months of this year, they have made about 110,000 apprehensions. Included in those apprehensions are 800 criminal aliens who have previously been arrested and exported from the United States, 78 sex offenders, and 62 gang members, which include MS-13 gangs," he said.
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In recent weeks, government officials in Mexico have reportedly expressed frustration that "migrant president" Biden's lenient immigration enforcement policies are creating a business boom for gangs and cartels.
One anonymous Mexican official told Reuters that organized crime units adjusted their modus operandi "the day Biden took office" and were now are exhibiting "unprecedented" levels of sophistication.
"Migrants have become a commodity," the official added.
Similarly, Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas) warned earlier this month that "the bad guys know how to market this."
Abbott, for his part, has launched Operation Lone Star in response to the crisis. The operation deploys National Guard troops, Texas Department of Public Safety, and other tactical units to secure the border and confront cartels.