According to a recent report from the Texas Tribune, Governor Greg Abbott, alongside multiple state legislators, utilized approximately $1B in COVID aid over the past few months for programs designed to arrest migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Under the Cares Act, a stimulus law, Abbott’s utilization of the funds is completely legal. The legislation, which was formally enacted in March 2020, does not include any clauses that would preclude states from reallocating funding to other purposes.
Nonetheless, Abbott has faced immense criticism for ostensibly not using the funds to combat the pandemic. However, in light of the Biden Administration’s resistance to addressing the crisis at the border, including how the crisis contributes to the ongoing pandemic, Abbott used the aid for one of the most effective means of combating the virus in the Lone Star State.
In March 2021, Abbott launched Operation Long Star in order to respond to an increase in illegal immigration, which has multiplied exponentially under the current White House regime.
Approximately three months after the launch of Operation Lone Star, Abbott also issued a state of emergency with regards to the overwhelmed border.
By the end of the summer that year, Abbott provided the Texas National Guard with the authority to start arresting people who illegally crossed the border and brazenly violated state law.
This year, Abbott adopted a new strategy, chiefly by sending migrants to Washington, D.C. via buses from Texas. Abbott’s decision emerged in light of the White House’s transportation of illegal migrants all over the nation, oftentimes using flights that arrived at their destinations in the dead of night to minimize detection and attention.
In contrast to other states, Texas had an additional $1B in COVID funding as the state had already funded its various public health and safety agencies.
In remarks to the Texas Tribune, Renae Eze, who serves as a spokesperson for Abbott, remarked that the policies of the Biden administration have catalyzed “an ongoing crisis along our southern border and throughout Texas,” a crisis that includes “millions of illegal immigrants from over 150 countries surging across the border.”