‘Nothing but a Bunch of Lies’: Texas Governor Abbott Slams Biden Administration Official Over Border Crisis

By: Alex Trent | Published: Apr 17, 2024

During a recent interview with Fox News, Texas Governor Greg Abbott took the opportunity to take aim at the Biden administration and its officials over the state of the nation’s border under Joe Biden’s leadership.

In his comments, he accused Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of lying to Congress when he said the border was secure, saying Texas has had to step up in the federal government’s place to help secure it.

Abbott’s Comments

The Texas governor took Biden and his allies to task during the interview, making specific mention of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Greg Abbot points while speaking on stage.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

“What Mayorkas has said is nothing but a bunch of lies,” said Abbott. Abbott asserts that Mayorkas is now a proven liar, as evidenced by his impeachment proceedings over saying the border was secure.

Impeachment Trial

Mayorkas is currently in the midst of an impeachment trial in the US Senate that will begin later this week. 

Alejandro Mayorkas photographed in 2021.

Source: DHSgov/Wikimedia

He was previously impeached in February by the US House for “willful and systemic refusal to comply” with immigration law, and for saying the border was secure. GOP Senators are demanding that a full trial be held for Mayorkas.

Historic Impeachment

Some are calling the impeachment of Mayorkas, which initially failed last month, to be historic because he is the first Cabinet secretary to face charges in almost 150 years.

The U.S. Capitol building seen underneath a blue sky.

Source: Elijah Mears/Unsplash

“He has taken a bad situation and actually accomplished an amazing feat. He’s actually made it worse, not better. Not only that, he’s violated the public trust by repeatedly lying under oath to Congress and the American people. If these aren’t impeachable offenses, I don’t know what would qualify. Secretary Mayorkas must be held responsible for his actions,” said Republican Senator from Texas John Cornyn.

Denying the Allegations

During a Senate budget hearing, Mayorkas defended himself against the accusation that he lied to Congress.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in a red tie.

Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security /Wikimedia

“With the authorities and the funding that we have, it is as secure as it can be,” Mayorkas said on Tuesday. In the hearing, he also made comments saying he did not “recall” admitting earlier in the year that 85% of migrants apprehended at the border are released into the US.

Criticizing Biden

In the Fox interview, Abbott criticized Biden for failing to secure the border and also Congress for failing to pass anything useful to stem the tide of border crossings.

An official photograph of Texas Governor Greg Abbot.

Source: Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas/Wikimedia

“The Biden administration has not secured the border. What SB4 does, is to authorize Texas to assert the powers that Congress has given to the federal government,” Abbott said. “Now let me be clear about this, Congress has passed three laws, not one that requires the President to detain anybody or try to deter anyone from entering the country illegally.”


Texas Stepping Up

Abbott made the case that Texas is at the forefront of the migrant crisis, and is willing to exercise its authority in the absence of help from Biden or the federal government.

A roadside welcome sign reads "Welcome to Texas - Drive Friendly-The Texas Way" featuring the state flag of Texas. The sign stands prominently against a backdrop of a clear sky with a few clouds

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Texas is trying to step up and enforce by state law, the same law that Congress passed which is to deny illegal immigrants, detain people who enter the country, and build border walls. Biden is doing none of those three things,” said Abbott.


Importance of Immigration

In recent months, immigration has become America’s most important concern. A Gallup survey from February found that 28% of Americans list it as their top problem. This was one of the highest numbers reported in the survey’s history, with a previous 27% high being reached in July 2019.

A border patrol agent in a green uniform with gloves is patting down an individual against a white van. The individual being searched has one hand raised above their head and is facing the van, with their back to the camera

Source: USBPChief/X

This surge to the top of the list comes amidst record-breaking migrant border crossing numbers that peaked in December.


Record Border Crossings

According to the US Border Patrol, December saw a historic high of 302,034 encounters on the southwest border. It also saw a record 249,785 arrests along the Mexico border.

A shot of the border fence at Sunland Park in the United States.


Since then, US Border Patrol says the number has been declining thanks to increased attention to the issue and enhanced enforcement, but still remains high.


Biden Weighing Nuclear Option

As Biden receives criticism from opponents on his handling of the border ahead of a tight election race in November, he has been mulling over actions he could do to crack down on border entries without alienating his Democratic base.

President Joe Biden at the southern border with border patrol agents.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

One consideration floated around is the “nuclear option,” where Biden would dramatically curtail the number of asylum-seekers who can cross the border with executive power.


Dragging His Feet

However, despite Biden signaling a willingness to use executive action to limit border crossings, he has been dragging out any implementation for months. Axios reported last week that Biden now plans to roll out an executive order by the end of this month.

President Joe Biden signing papers in the Oval Office.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Biden previously called upon Congress to pass something to help with border security, but a border bill has been unable to escape the Senate. Donald Trump took credit for killing one of them.


Biden Blames Republicans

Biden and Democrats feel there are significant limitations to using executive action at the border since funding Border Patrol is done by Congress.

President Joe Biden, accompanied by uniformed border patrol agents, walks along a path adjacent to the tall border wall on a sunny day

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Congress should do its job and it hasn’t,” a White House spokesperson told Axios. “No executive action, no matter how aggressive, can deliver the significant policy reforms and additional resources Congress can provide and that Republicans rejected.”