FEMA Denies Abbott’s Emergency Declaration Over Border Crisis

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott talks about President Obama's immigration executive order at a news conference at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner) AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT; COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM; MAGAZINES OUT / mug - mugshot - headshot / 06012015xNEWS


The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s request to declare a federal emergency in the state over the ongoing border crisis, according to documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday.

Abbott appealed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) decision to deny the state emergency protective measures that would allow it access to federal assistance on Oct. 7, according to documents obtained by the DCNF. The agency maintained that Texas would not receive federal assistance in Val Verde County, where thousands of Haitian migrants arrived in Del Rio and overwhelmed border officials in late September.

“After a thorough review of all the information contained in your initial request and appeal, we reaffirm our original findings that supplemental federal assistance under the Stafford Act is not warranted for this event,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said in a letter to Abbott. “Therefore, I must inform you that your appeal for an emergency declaration is denied.”

FEMA initially denied Abbott’s request for federal aid on Sept. 29, about a week after thousands of migrants set up a temporary encampment under the Del Rio international bridge hoping for a chance to file an asylum claim in southern Texas, Fox News reported. Border officials encountered more than 1.7 million migrants in the fiscal year 2021, with a majority of the apprehensions occurring in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, according to Customs and Border Protection data.

“The denial of Governor Abbott’s FEMA request is not only a denial of reality, but a firm statement by the federal government that it is abandoning the people and the state of Texas,” Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy told the DCNF. “Biden and Mayorkas do not care about Texans, any other American, or the migrants being harmed by this crisis, and they are committing impeachable offenses by failing to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.”

“States — border or otherwise — are left with no choice but to step up even more to protect their own borders and their own citizens due to Biden’s purposeful refusal to protect our nation,” Roy added. “The law, the Constitution, and the natural rights of man support aggressive action by Texans to stand firm against the chaos of this crisis.”

Abbott initially requested aid from the Biden administration immediately after the migrants arrived in Del Rio, Texas, and sent hundreds of state law enforcement officials to aid federal agents, according to the governor’s office. The governor blamed the Biden administration’s policies for causing the border crisis and failing to secure the southern border.

Neither Abbott nor FEMA responded to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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