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GOP senator visits border, hails Abbott’s success slowing migrant surge despite Biden admin opposition

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is offering her support for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has fought with the Biden administration on his efforts to secure the border.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., returning from the southern border, is backing Gov. Greg Abbott in his efforts to secure the Texas border, pointing to a sharp change in migrant traffic in the Eagle Pass area.

Blackburn visited the border in Eagle Pass Tuesday, which she previously visited in January 2023, and she said the difference was marked, from a time when she said the area was “overrun” and the Shelby Park area had been taken over by Border Patrol to be used as a staging area.

She cited the moves Abbott has made, including additional border barriers, a surge of resources and a new controversial anti-illegal immigration law.


HOW EAGLE PASS BECAME THE CENTERPIECE OF ABBOTT’S EFFORTS TO SECURE THE BORDER 

“Then to see it today, where they have put up buoys in the river, they’ve got containers at the water’s edge. They’ve got fencing and razor wire and to see how effective that is and helping them drop those numbers,” she told Fox News Digital in an interview.

“I think it’s wonderful that the state of Texas has moved forward, spending billions of dollars in order to secure their border. And it’s why now you’re seeing some of these illegal entrants go down to Arizona, New Mexico, California and try to find another way. But they are not going there to Eagle Pass, Texas.”

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Blackburn said that in the river there were about a dozen people trying to cross, compared to hundreds lining up last year. She also praised Texas authorities’ efforts in stopping drugs like fentanyl.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMMIGRATION COVERAGE

Texas and the Biden administration have feuded over how to handle border security since the start of the crisis. Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in 2021, which sent resources and personnel to the border, in response to what he claimed was a lack of action from the Biden administration to handle the then-surging crisis.

Abbott’s administration began building a border wall, constructed razor wire along the Rio Grande, set up floating buoys in the river and deployed the National Guard. In December, Abbott signed an anti-illegal immigration law that would allow police to arrest illegal immigrants and for judges to order them deported. 

That bill is currently on hold after being blocked by a court order, which was continued by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals late Tuesday.

BIDEN, TEXAS FEUD OVER ANTI-ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION LAW AS MIGRANTS RUSH BORDER: WHAT TO KNOW 

Blackburn has two pieces of legislation that she believes would help the border crisis. The Clear Act would require ICE to pick up criminal illegal aliens within 48 hours of an agency notifying them, and reimburse them for the costs of the apprehension and detention. The Container Act would allow states to build their own border fences in lieu of action from the federal government.

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Blackburn told Fox News Digital that Texas’ example was a sign that barriers work and said other states should follow the example Texas is setting.

“They need to listen to what Border Patrol has been saying. They need a physical barrier, better technology, because cartels have superior technology, and then more officers and agents,” she said. “It’s kind of simple. Walls and barriers actually work. And you’re seeing that in Texas.” 

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