SAN JUAN, Texas – Four border community groups have issued a response to Gov. Greg Abbott’s proclamation that the border region is a disaster.

In a proclamation of their own, the four groups, La Unión del Pueblo Entero, Angry Tias and Abuelas, Asylum Seeker Network of Support, and The Sidewalk School, say Abbott is a disaster.

Earlier this week, Abbott issued a disaster declaration for Texas counties lining the Texas-Mexico border.  He said he was issuing the declaration in response to a border “crisis.”

Abbott said by doing so, more resources would go to border counties to “combat the ongoing influx of unlawful immigrants.” He blamed President Biden for the “crisis.”

“President Biden’s open-border policies have paved the way for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to pour into our communities,” Abbott said. 

“Meanwhile, landowners along the border are seeing their property damaged and vandalized on a daily basis while the Biden Administration does nothing to protect them. Texas continues to step up to confront the border crisis in the federal government’s absence, but more must be done. By declaring a state of disaster in these counties, Texas will have more resources and strategies at our disposal to protect landowners and enforce all federal and state laws to combat criminal activities stemming from the border crisis. Working together with local law enforcement, the state will continue to take robust and meaningful action to keep our communities safe.”

The four community groups said Abbott’s move was a transparent attempt to distract from failed leadership. Abbott has received some criticism, including from some Republicans, for saying he will defund legislative staff and agencies in retaliation for Texas House Democrats breaking quorum to stop passage of a bill that would make it harder to vote in the Lone Star State.

“Governor Abbott has repeatedly failed to protect Texans,” said Dani Marrero Hi, Director of Advocacy and Communications for La Unión del Pueblo Entero. 

“He has failed to find solutions to the serious issues that are harming and killing Texans and has ignored the real needs of border communities. Instead, he is stoking security fears in order to distract from his failure to keep Texans safe from COVID. He is dreaming up a crisis in order to move the news cycle past his failure to manage the storm that took the lives of 700 Texans. He is scapegoating immigrants in need of aid in order to redirect blame for his failure to help Texans get back on their feet after the pandemic. For his failure to lead through the pandemic and protect Texans from disaster after disaster, we declare his governorship a disaster.

In the proclamation, border groups call on “all people of good conscience” to donate to organizations who support new immigrants, asylum seekers, colonia residents, and low-income residents along the border. The groups say they are providing the leadership that Abbott has failed to deliver.

Here is the proclamation from the four border community groups:

Click here to read the proclamation from Gov. Abbott.

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